Is it really the end of the Space Age?

The Cold War has ended, and national spending on space exploration has begun to seem too expensive for the tax payer, with too few short to medium term benefits. But are the US cuts to space exploration in this recession really sufficient reason to call the “end of the space age” as many journalists are now doing?

4 comments

  • I though NASA were outsourcing?
    http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/3894836/more-outsourcing-for-nasa/

    Seems that the private sector is taking over as this becomes less of an ideological mission for states keen to flex their muscles and more of a profit making venture for private enterprise as companies like Scaled Composites take advantage of a revolution in fabrication technology.

    http://www.scaled.com/services/fabrication

    IMO The Spaces age has turned a corner.

  • The U.S. taxpayer that is.

    How much of the cut-backs in the U.S. space program are due to a poor return on investment, and how much is due to a stagnating, debt-ridden economy ?

    China’s space program is increasing.

    Is this one of the first signs of the end of the American empire ?

  • I agree with both of you. To think that one cut by the US government signals the end of humanity’s ambitions in space, and the defeat of our explorative nature is preposterous. If other emerging economies keep growing then they’ll take up the race as you say Sean. And as you say Martin this is more a sign of the continued dominance of neoliberalism and the power of the market than the end of an ‘age’. We are after all still living in the middle of the technological revolution. What about the talked about carbon cables running into space? What about the rich tourists now able to travel up to the space station thanks to the privatisation of space travel?

    P.S. Looking at that ‘SpaceShipTwo’ on the link you sent Martin (http://www.scaled.com/projects/model_339_spaceshiptwo) actually makes me quite excited about our advancements.

  • It’s all good, the progress science is making now is increasing exponentially.
    our phones are increasing exponentially!
    All down to the internet.

    Exciting times ahead, no one will keep their job, but exciting times:)

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