Are Humans in Space worth investing

Posted on Friday, January 11, 2008

Via NASAwatch comes this story in the NYT about the question: "Is Space Exploration Worth The Cost?"

The answers by the panelists are certainly worth reading, but what I find interesting is that I more and more tend to read these main articles just to see what the ensuing discussion in the comments is about. In this case, the fact that all panelists have careers tied to the space industry certainly doesn't help to give the article a feel of objectivity, as shown by the first row of comments . Here is another comment worth reprinting:

Economists generally think competition is a good thing, but suddenly once we’re out of the atmosphere everyone is going to cooperate and everything will be fine? All the national governments will join hands, and do everything efficiently?
Without some kind of national/corporate race in space — which is impossible due to U.N. treaties — there will never be much beyond LEO.

I am not so sure the UN treaties are the main problem though, cause even without these treaties, what would be the commercial incentives on which businesses are willing to invest +billion dollars for a market of consumers that's...well...back on Earth?

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