Manber: Use ISS as Testbed for Commercial Space

International Space Station
International Space Station

Jeffrey Manber weighs in with his advice to Norm Augustine and his panel:

For me, it was kind of a Cold War throwback to have watched as members of the Augustine panel have traveled around the country listening to engineers and industry executives talk up one launch system and bad mouth another, push for one new NASA program and throw cold water on another. Think “sunshine laws” meets a Politburo meeting.

Norm Augustine should report to the president that the problem afflicting our space program is not this hardware or that program, but the way we are spending our tens of billions for space.

What to do? First, accept that any decision for a major new manned space effort would have little reality in timing or cost, as was true for those presidential space announcements of the past several administrations. Consequently, this is not the moment for any grand announcement. Instead, let’s finally correct the underlying affliction by permanently altering how NASA does business. And the best place to start is to use the International Space Station as a test bed for how governments operate in space.

Read the full op-ed.