Space Is Getting Crowded

For the past several years, we as a nation have been spending a lot of money on a lot of things, the war in Iraq, rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina and so on. The one thing that we haven't been doing is exploring outer space with the same earnest that we once did.

NASA's budget, for example, has fallen 20% in real dollars from it's 1992 levels. It now only makes up 0.6% of the federal budget.

Of course, while the United States has been doing other things, the rest of the world has been going full steam ahead. This creates a situation where the U.S. is no longer the world's undisputed leader in space exploration and we may soon be playing second fiddle to the Chinese, Indians and others.

I'm all in favor of sharing outer space. There's clearly enough of it to go around. However, the idea that the U.S. is no longer at the cutting edge is irritating.

Really, really irritating.


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