The New Space Race: Private Innovation vs. Government Stagnation

with Bryan Kazmaier & Jake Gissendanner

Today marks a milestone in space exploration. While we haven’t been back to our own moon in almost half-a-century, it’s the end of an era! NASA, will no longer be sending bureaucrats on ancient shuttles to chill in orbit and not-explore our near-by moon and planets. Space Shuttle Atlantis made its final launch today, carrying a crew of four bureaucrats, on its way to do what it always does, attend a freeze-dried ice cream party at the international space station. Snore.

Under Obama’s new space plan, the U.S. will cease it’s shuttle program, leaving private firms to pick up the slack for now (Obama letting the market do something? Woah, I know, holy crap!). Meanwhile, NASA has been tasked with developing deep-space rockets, with the prospect of reaching the moon, or near-by planets that it probably intends to “conquer.” (otherwise known as visit a few times and leave, never to return)

As we end one era, we hopefully dawn into one in which government begins to get-the-hell out of the way of private innovation. The most likely reason (rather than innovation) that NASA is ending the shuttle program, is the fact that the U.S. is broke. Liberal rags are lamenting the death of the shuttle program, saying it signals an end to American innovation… of course, this is preposterous. Government subsidy is not intrinsically tied into innovation.

The universe is not a national park. The international ‘spirit of cooperation’ propagated by United Nations bureaucrats crushes private incentive, and the last thing I want to see is the TSA in space.

In the long run, entrusting space exploration to militarized outfits such as NASA, known for using the perverse euphemism “conquering space,” will only continue to provoke archaic arms races with rival nation states, who are also quite literally “shooting for the stars.” The most vibrant trade routes in human history expanded because of self-interested merchants and investors who actively sought markets beyond their known horizon. Peace and commerce inevitably encourage exploration; the final frontier, like all frontiers before it, will be mapped by capitalists and adventurers. Even the guy from the History channel show ‘Ancient Aliens’ with the big hair has more incentive to explore space than a government bureaucrat. Besides, I don’t believe NASA is capable of developing Firefly class starships. Only capitalism can do that.

When man can escape the confines of Earth, he can escape the confines of its elite-run governments. Only when man reaches his full potential, only when man is able to move about space freely, will he truly be free. Let us hope even amidst a looming monetary crisis, and all the other perpetual warfare we are now enduring, we someday reach that ideal. And let’s hope that when we get there, we don’t run into any Galactic empires or Fascist-leaning Alliances.

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