- Go back to the Moon
- Build a Lunar Settlement (see #1)
- Send humans to Mars
- Build a Space Based Solar Power Satellite (other than a demo, if that)
- Build a real replacement for the Shuttle (i.e. something reusable)
- Build a Space Elevator
- Fulfill any other wild fantasy of the Space Tragic community
Giving kudos where they are due, I was alerted to this chart by a blog posting at Rand Simberg’s site, Transterrestrial Musings. The reason I decided to show this here is not to engage in a “who can spend more like a drunken sailor on shore leave” debate between the righties and the lefties – since both parties have long since given up any semblance of fiscal conservatism, proving once again that the old saying:
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse (generous gifts) from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy….”
While we aren’t quite at collapse stage yet, I wouldn’t hold my breath for any major investments in space-related projects when you are fighting against much better organized and heeled opponents wanting those funny money dollars for their clean coal facilities, bank bailouts, auto bailouts, national health care systems, expanded international adventures with our military, farm subsidies, rail subsidies, etc.
For those of you who are in your 20s – i feel for you. This is the first recession you’ve experienced, and it’s got to be discouraging (to say the least). Take heart in the sage words of Chance Gardner, who said:
In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
What should discourage you even more, and those of you who are even younger that read this blog (all 3 of you), is this: you (and perhaps your children) are going to be stuck working crap jobs and paying high taxes to work off the ridiculous level of debt this country has saddled itself with over the past 30 years, and from the looks of the chart above, will continue to do.