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Treatise: Abandoning OldSpace’s Conceit

30 Jul 2013, 08:17 UTC
Treatise: Abandoning OldSpace’s Conceit
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Space Exploration is suffering an identity crisis. Like atmospheric flight before it, space exploration is evolving to include a spectrum of public and private participants, motivations, and goals. However, even amongst space enthusiasts and professionals, there is much (mostly friendly – I’ll get to that) debate regarding just what exactly it is that qualifies as […]

Should this be considered space exploration? “Pilot Felix Baumgartner jumps out from the capsule at 126,720 feet during the final manned flight for Red Bull Stratos in Roswell, New Mexico” (Credit: Red Bull Stratos)
Space Exploration is suffering an identity crisis.
Like atmospheric flight before it, space exploration is evolving to include a spectrum of public and private participants, motivations, and goals. However, even amongst space enthusiasts and professionals, there is much (mostly friendly – I’ll get to that) debate regarding just what exactly it is that qualifies as worthy space exploration.
This debate tends to set itself up in terms of convenient binaries:
Human or robotic? Public or commercial? Lunar or Martian? To seek out an asteroid where it orbits or capture one and bring it back to us? (There are many more…)
Determining who or what is qualified (or makes someone qualified) ...

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