by Launchspace Staff Writers
Bethesda MD (SPX) Feb 14, 2017
The space community has reached a fork in the road to future space exploitation. One fork leaves us with a "business as usual" scenario. This option leads to the maintenance of current plans, programs, space operations and missions.
However, thanks to the piecemeal evolution of technologies, programs, policies and personalities over the last few decades, the overall complexity of the U.S. space enterprise is left with unwieldy organizational and management solutions that are very expensive and unreliable.
Continuing along this path may not result in favorable solutions to the challenges already in front of us. For example, space-based national security capabilities are being challenged by formidable adversaries.
Young and bright engineers are being attracted away from traditional careers and are being lured to entrepreneurial companies that want to create missions to Mars and expand space tourism.
The other fork may seem to offer excitement of unknown and risky adventures. However, there is the potentially extreme reward of creating new technologies and approaches that allow innovative and affordable solutions to our current challenges.
This is the road taken by entrepreneurs and those looking to make a difference. In order to travel this road, we must change current entrenched approaches and philosophies in order to create a new paradigm.
Let's open our minds to new thoughts and new ideas in order to address the real problems of doing profitable business in space, increasing the resilience of our national security space infrastructure, resolving the issues of space traffic management and reducing the population of space junk. This would be a good start toward vast new space applications that we have yet to imagine.
The Space Age may be over, but the utility of space is forever.
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