Thinking about 2006

The Republican National Conventional starts tomorrow in New York, which means it’s the perfect time to… think about the 2006 elections? Apparently that’s the case for the AP, which has this article about Adam Brecht, a Wall Street PR executive who is thinking about runnning for the Senate in New York state in 2006 against incumbent Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Brecht has some interesting thoughts about NASA:

While pressing traditional Republican themes such as making permanent President Bush’s tax cuts, Brecht also wants a federal commitment to curing cancer and Aids by 2050 and funding the effort, in part, by getting rid of NASA and leaving space exploration to the private sector.

NASA supporters should note that Brecht right now has virtually no name recognition among Republicans in the Empire State. However, 2006 is a long way off…

6 comments to Thinking about 2006

  • By 2006 he may have formed a less simplistic outlook.

    Even if not, if a politician can derive a noticeable advantage by saying such things then that suggests 2005/2006 could be far rosier years than today’s indicators foretell. I expect the electorate to have other troubling issues to worry about.

    I suppose there’s also the chance that NASA’s death spiral will have ended by 2006, making it a moot point – you never know…

  • Anonymous

    This private vs. public spaceflight thing is so silly.

    If you’re pro-space, you want more private AND more public.

    It’s not a zero-sum game.

  • Anonymous

    “…getting rid of NASA and leaving space exploration to the private sector”

    This is why robotic vs. human spaceflight is silly, too.

    It would be a strange politician who scrapped human spaceflight and kept robotic spaceflight fully funded.

    “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
    Benjamin Franklin

  • Jim Muncy

    This guy is wrong, but this distinction is not the same as human vs. robotic. At its core, the human vs. robotic debate is about a space program that is broader than science vs. just science. Human vs. robotic is still a stupid debate, but there is a underlying ideological conflict.

    It would be interesting to know WHY he thinks the private sector will “take over”.

    I do not agree that it will. But it is still interesting that a semi-intelligent, public service-interested guy thinks this, and says it.
    If only because most politicians never talk about space. (Which is a really bad sign, in case readers here don’t realize that.)

  • John Malkin

    Mr. Franklin is one of my heroes.

    I don’t think Mr. Brecht understands all the different research projects that NASA assists. I have frequently read of scientific research unrelated to spaceflight or aviation that has used either indirectly or directly NASA resources or innovations. I’m sure cancer research would benefit from the research in radiations effect on human in space and currently an experiment on ISS in protein crystal growth assists medical research, one of the few active experiments on ISS.

    I do agree we need federal goals/visions in other areas not just space exploration. I think US could eliminate homelessness given the same level expectations that is put on NASA. Does anyone know of any exploration that was done by the private sector without any government assistance or guidance?

  • Edward Wright

    > Does anyone know of any exploration that was done by the private sector without
    > any government assistance or guidance?

    Henry Hudson explored on behalf of the Moscovy Company, the Dutch East India Company, the Virginia Company, and the British East India Company.

    Captain Cook’s expeditions were sponsored by the Royal Society.

    The American West was explored by mountain men working for fur companies.

    David Livingston worked for the London Missionary Society, and Henry Stanley’s African explorations were financed by the New York Herald and the Daily Telegraph.

    The National Geographic Society sponsored exploratory work by Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Peary, Hiram Bingham, Richard Byrd, Jacques Cousteau, the Leakeys, and Robert Ballard, to name just a few.

    The Discovery Channel has sponsored a number of exploratory expeditions.

    Exxon plans to spend $10 billion on oil exploration in the next decade.

    Atlantis Adventures is a private company that operates 11 submarines around the world, allowing 750,000 people annually to explore the ocean depths as deep as 1000 feet.

    More than 25 million people explore Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, and other Orlando theme parks every year.

    Where do people get the idea that only government does exploration?