The Early Days of a Better Nation

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Man Who Sold the Moon

I've just been interviewed for Wired News about George W. Bush's speech at NASA, which I'd watched an hour or so earlier. I was flattered to be asked, and I hope Charlie Stross gave a better impression of an SF writer who is clued up on all this space rockets stuff. Seriously, I don't follow space policy in any depth. I don't, for example, know if Bush's way of finding the money by shifting $11 billion worth of existing NASA priorities and giving the agency an extra $1 billion over five years is open-handed, tight-fisted, or cack-handed.

I do know this. Watching it felt like science fiction coming true, and in a good way. Complete the space station. Replace the Shuttle. Build a Moon base. Learn more stuff. Go to Mars. And then what? Worlds beyond. A human presence across the Solar System. And then what? 'Humanity is going out into the cosmos.'

A feasible beginning, a reasonable progression, and no prospect of an end. This what the Space Age was supposed to be like.


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