Completely disagree. The entire US
space program has progressed based upon
the technology developed from previous
missions. Winning or losing in the
exploration of space is a semantic
trap that can further bog one down
in the long defunct debate of whether we should explore space. Despite perceptions of success or failure, I think that even the perceived failed attempts provide mountains of data for our future in space science.
We should whenever possible,
continue to frame future work in terms of tangible gain. Can we mine the moon for ore? What new knowlege about
the laws of physics, chemistry and
the universe can a station of scientists
discover in microgravity? Can we
utilize satellite communications
to provide cheaper and better connectivity around the world?
Can we develop satellites to beam
mega watts of solar power into
earth based receiving stations?
Can we develop cheaper methods of
space component production that may
improve other types of precision
What applications do emerging methods and technologies have in earth based enterprises? NASA has a vested interest
in seeking out commercial partners to
help develop the commercial arm of
space development. I think additional funding of JPL through private enterprise, as well as spinoffs of independent payload delivery services are necessary to fully swing in to space capitalization.