Monday, July 20, 2009

Ad Astra per Debitum: The Lunacy of the "Space Race" (Will Grigg)

Will Grigg on the insanely expensive publicity stunt of landing people on the moon, which paved the way for the utter waste of taxpayer money down the money pit known as NASA:

While I yield to no man in my admiration for Neil Armstrong and Edward Aldrin, the space pioneers I really want to meet are Mike Melvill and Brian Binnie.

In August 2004, Mr. Melvill piloted the first privately constructed spacecraft, Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne; Binnie was at the controls on the second flight less than a week later, thereby earning the "X-Prize" for Rutan's company, Scaled Composites.

It's true that Melvill and Binnie ascended to altitudes just above the internationally recognized boundary of outer space, and Armstrong and Aldrin were the first to leave bootprints on the face of another world.* But Melvill and Binnie were part of a team that accomplished space travel without stealing the wealth of others to do so. That fact alone makes their achievement infinitely worthier of celebration than the "triumph" of corporatist plunder that took place forty years ago today.

Read the rest, and also see Gary North's great article on the subject, where he explains why he was better off studying the Bible than watching the first walk on the moon.

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