We need more, not less, space competition
You don’t have to like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Richard Branson. But the steps – and enormous risks – they are taking to bring space flight and exploration to the people is something to admire.
Unless you happen to be a socialist Senator from Vermont named Bernie Sanders, who thinks billionaires opening the heavens to mere mortals is an affront to the state and its prerogatives:
“Frankly, it is not acceptable…that the two wealthiest people in this country, Mr. [Elon] Musk and Mr. Bezos, take control of our space efforts to return to the moon,” said Sanders in a Senate floor speech criticizing components of the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which might include a $10 billion government contract awarded to Blue Origin. “This is not something for two billionaires to be directing; this is something for the American people to be determining.”
Credit to Mr. Sanders for his unshakeable belief is state power. But let’s be honest: NASA is just along for the ride that Musk and others are now offering. Again, you don’t have to like Elon, Jeff, or Richard – or any competitors who will inevitably challenge them. What we should admire – and encourage – is the competition to see who can get humanity into space – and back – with the same regularity and reliability as plane travel (minus the TSA, of course).
That’s progress. That’s the future. The command-and-control Mr. Sanders defends? That’s the road to nowhere.