Space discord….

And not the kind involving laboratories….story in today’s FT here.

I think the big questions ahead are:

1) What’s the future post ISS?

2) What will be the role of the new private sector players such as SpaceX?

3) Will Space become contested and increasingly militarized?

My hope is the answer to (1) is significant manned presence beyond low earth orbit. For (2), I’d like to see a thousand flowers bloom. And for (3), would be a very bad outcome.

Who should own the Moon?

From Air and Space Smithsonian, here. Money quote:

Earth’s scientists have studied the returned data and we’ve dreamed of returning to the Moon and to new places where humanity has never set foot.  Entrepreneurs and social engineers see a time in the near future when we will make that next step and they each hold somewhat different views — some want to develop and capitalize on their investment, some want to preserve and permit only limited access.

The article raises some very interesting points, ones that will have important implications for the future of space exploration into the future.

The Economist writes an epitaph for manned space flight for ever and ever….

It’s their cover piece from this week, here. I don’t hold a strong enough opinion on the future of manned space to argue their thesis one way or the other. I simply find it extremely problematical to extrapolate far into the future from present trends, particularly when dependent on a number of linked complex adaptive systems (e.g. geopolitics, markets, biosphere).

By the same logic, we should just give up on neuroscience, since the brain is so complex and our progress in understanding it, to date, so slow. I don’t think I’m a buyer on that proposition either.