Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Planetary Society: AIM FOR MARS

The Planetary Society has a statement in response to the report released by the American Presidential Commission on Space Exploration Policy.

The following segment of the statement is of interest:

Although the Commission supported international cooperation, it commented only on it as a business proposition -- "tapping into the global marketplace." Specifically, it said the United States should first make unilateral decisions on expectations and milestones and then determine "what the United States is willing to cede [to others]." We prefer a true partnership approach in which American intellectual, cultural, and political leadership builds a world-wide constituency for the extraordinary vision of humans from Earth traveling to another world "in peace, for all mankind." Europe, Russia, Japan and several international organizations have been developing their own approaches for such a goal, and we urge they be brought into the planning as quickly as possible in order to make this a true international partnership. China, upon becoming only the third nation to orbit a human, is already asserting that lunar exploration is a real goal for them. We recommend that all of these potential partners should be brought into the international planning.

Obviously, issues such as Iraq are not the only areas in which the current American administration believe they can and should act unilaterally. Unilateralism seems to be part of their essential philosophy.

In Canada, articulation of a space policy, or a technological vision for the future, has not been a high priority for any of the political parties.

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