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ISDC Begins

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
May 19, 2011
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Hi folks.

ISDC has formally begun. I’m doing updates here on PA and @spacecom on Twitter.

The morning started out with a Plenary session titled, “How Space Gets Done,” in which various experts described the process by which space policy in Washington is formulated. Apparently, it’s a complex, messy and ever changing endeavor done by a small group of folks who all go to the same receptions.

Many of them had the pleasure to study, as I did, under Dr. John Logsdon, professor emeritus from the George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute. Logsdon was a panelist today and had a few choice observations about the state of America’s space programs.

The space policy guru thought the U.S. human space program was in danger of drift unless political leaders came through with a clear direction and destination for it. He felt that President Barack Obama had muddled the direction with his “been there, done that” comments about the moon last year at the Kennedy Space Center.

Logsdon also expressed hope — but no optimism — that the President might say make a statement on space on the upcoming 5oth anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s bold proclamation that the United States should land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s.

There may be some delays in posting updates. Apparently, the only person capable of setting up the WiFi network at the conference center is essential to registering attendees. This results in a long hike back to the conference hotel to post stories. I’ll update Twitter as much as possible. The conference starts up again at 3 pm EDT.