Sunday, January 18, 2009

Space Race , Part II

NASA has been officially independent of the U.S. military since its founding, with a mission of science and space exploration. There has always been spillover and sharing between the two organizations, given the similarities in technology and personnel, but I think the original distinction is important. However, Obama might be merging many aspects of the two, in the name of cost control, and possibly to increase the military's influence. His probable selection of a retired Air Force general to lead NASA also signals this merger. The militarization of space has always seemed to me both like a bad idea, and inevitable. There also is a long-term trajectory of increasing tensions between China and the United States which is worrisome.