Is MIT dumbing down?

by | Dec 17, 2008 | Seradata News | 7 comments

Beyond these words NASA should continue to support commercial and European
development of crew and cargo alternatives
, particularly for cargo return, during and after the gap
the report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology space, policy and society
research group
 is pretty unimaginative and if I were a member of George W. Bush’s administration or NASA’s current leadership I’d be thanking the New England based-institute for the free positive PRRather like this Obama campaign space policy and this report from the Obama linked Center for American Progress Action Fund New Democracy Project, the gravity free zone normally found in US Congressional authorisation acts for NASA that seem to think that a $25 billion plus (my guestimate) wish list can be done for $17 billion seems to have expanded to cover a major academic institution

The one shining light in the report is that commercial and European cargo reference. In ESA you have an organisation whose industrial partners have proven ability. Sadly at the moment Europe’s governments can’t, or won’t, invest enough to deliver additional upmass and down-mass capability in the near term. Obama could change that. Funding the crew transrpotation option of NASA’s commercial orbital transportation services demonstration programme would be a good idea too

As for the rest of the MIT report. I guess the university makes more money from human spaceflight projects than robotic space science as the recommendations in its report demonstrate a mindset that thinks that you can carry on as normal and have your human spaceflight cake and eat it while the scientific community (now looking for a big climate change dividend from the Obama administration after eight lean years) and aeronautics research base just rolls over

How can I make this clear enough for people even with multiple degrees to understand?


Even if you opt for the “dump Constellation, worship at the EELV altar” crowd’s approach you are going to have to develop heavier lift EELVs, extremely reliable automatic in-orbit rendezvous and docking, an Earth departure stage, crewed and robotic cargo lunar landers, a cislunar navigation and telecomms network, lunar surface systems, lunar rovers, new spacesuits, in-situ resource utilisation technology and I choke while I say it, orbital propellant depots…

Can someone in American academia please get real [add whatever florid language you wish too] and draw up a realistic plan for the US space programme?

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles




nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochinaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 525virgin galacticULAfalcon 9RoscosmosevaDGAspacewalkaviation weekaressoyuzIGTInternational Space StationRocket LabBeidouawardsBlue OriginspaceStarlinkSatellite broadcastingrussiamoonAirbus DSboeingISROCargo Return VehiclemarsblogresearchOneWebspaceshiptwojaxaorionmarsimpactdelayhyperbolaEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegaSESbarack obamaconstellationtourismnorthfiguresthales alenia spacespaceflightIntelsatnode 2fundedRaymond Lygo2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiosuborbitaltestmissiledocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbitinternetLong March 2D/2sts-122SLSNorthrop GrummanChina Manned Space EngineeringAriane 5missile defensenewspapercotsgalileospace tourismflight2010ElectronLong March 4CspaceportExpress AMU 1buildspace stationaltairsoyuz 2-1aProton Minternational astronautical congressshuttlespace shuttlescaled compositesIntelsat 23European Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosnew yorkrulesAriane 6hanleybudgetatvVietnamshenzhoucongressMojaveboldennew shepardLong March 2CInmarsatOrbital ATKcnesiaclunar landerGuiana Space CenterLong March 4BUK Space AgencySpace Systems/LoralKuaizhou 1AlawsApollokscUS Air ForceprotonILSTalulah RileydarpaElectron KSFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Vega CeuAstriumSkylonpicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatNorth KoreaSSLAprilSNC50thinterviewLong MarchSea LaunchfalconWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor

Stay Informed with Seradata

Stay informed on the latest news, insights, and more from Seradata by signing up for our newsletter.