June 4, 2011

Manx Space Industry Income Nears One Billion Pounds (Source: BBC)
The income from the Isle of Man's space industry is nearing the billion mark according to the Manx government. Tim Craine from the department of economic development said the figure came from a recent government-commissioned report. It is thought that the global space industry is currently worth about $300 billion a year.

Mr Craine said: "A revenue stream of £1 billion might seem like a lot of money to traditional industries." The Isle of Man is the headquarters for 12 space firms which are involved in work such as developing space tourism technology and satellite communications. In 2010 industry analyst Ascend named the island as the fifth most likely nation to put the next person on the moon. (6/4)

Smart Money Isn't Betting on the Success of Space Exploration (Source: Military & Aerospace)
Wanna know where American space-exploration efforts are headed? Just watch how the smart money bets. Boeing, one of the world's largest and most influential aerospace companies, is laying off 510 workers in the company's Space Exploration division. That doesn't sound like Boeing has a lot of confidence in the future of U.S. space exploration.

It's not that U.S. agencies like NASA, which are in place to promote space exploration, don't want to pursue new projects with vigor. There's just no money, and little, if any, national will to send humans into space on any great scale. There's really nothing on the horizon with any prospect for adequate funding to generate much more than the occasional press release.

U.S. space exploration is heading for another dark age. It reminds me of the 1970s after the Apollo program, and after the first U.S. space station program, called Skylab, lost its luster. Apollo was done, the moon was conquered, the nation was exhausted from Vietnam. Nobody wanted to put serious time, energy, and money into space anymore. (6/4)

Editorial: Space Travel Can Still Inspire Us (Source: Boston Globe)
No matter how intricate and dangerous their tasks, shuttle space walkers shrank in the popular imagination to appliance-repair people. As inspiring it was to see the first women and people of color go into space, the country was literally stuck in orbit. Is our vision for space is also fading to black?

What priority should we place on human space flight at this very moment? It is easy to argue that human space flight has to wait until we extricate ourselves from two wars and the worst economy since the Great Depression. Then again, you could say Apollo was badly needed proof Americans could do something right, amid the misery of Vietnam and the race riots in American cities.

You could ask what business we have on Mars, when we have so fouled our home planet. Or you could say we have to get off this planet sometime in the next few billion years, so we better get cracking now. (6/4)

No comments: