Time for a One World Space Program

My career as an engineer began with the USA space program in the 60’s. We achieved Kennedy’s vision in 1969 and then sat back wondering what’s next. Space shuttle, a glorified truck with wings? The ISS?

Our biggest successes have been through our unmanned – robotic missions. Think of the excitement about the two Mars rovers and the extended life they have achieved.  Doesn’t it make more sense to focus on these strengths and move from manned to unmanned missions?

Under the Bush Administration a return to the moon followed by a mission to Mars was announced, of course there was no funding. So now the Augustine report states that NASA needs to revisit these missions and
manned space missions. At the same time the Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Russians and S. Koreans are creating their own programs.

With a slammed economy and 2 wars is now the time for the USA to broach the idea of a single unified space program?  We can combine our strengths and achieve reaching Mars.  This certainly makes more sense than all of these nations engaging in a race to the moon (with the associated costs)  and beyond.

I know this is rather Star Trekian, but maybe space can be the place where the countries of the Earth come together.


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