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We have the Left Stuff.


If deep sea exploration has gone robotic, shouldn't outer space do likewise? It makes no sense to haul man and his air, water, food, and waste disposal systems along when it can be done more efficiently by remote control. Better yet, let's fund SETI and get the aliens to come to us.

I recall that when the International Space Station was first conceived, it was a $1 to $2 billion project. Costs are now over $100 billion. I have come to concluded that manned space flight is more ego than science. People who want to take that trip should pay their own way.

Mark Robinowitz

It is fascinating that Kennedy's change of policy on the moon race gets almost no mention anywhere even though he proposed it to the United Nations (in a 30 minute speech) and then published a National Security Action Memorandum (271) directing NASA to prepare for the shift. It's not why he was removed from office but I doubt that the assassins and their sponsors were happy to hear that JFK had offered to convert the "moon race" into a cooperative effort with the Soviet Union. The full speech is archived at the JFK Library and is worth listening to in full.

The type of cooperative shift proposed in this speech is what would have been needed to move away from empire and respond positively to M. King Hubbert's warning of 1956.

Address to the General Assembly of the United Nations - President John F. Kennedy
New York - September 20th 1963

''Finally, in a field where the United States and the Soviet Union have a special capacity--in the field of space--there is room for new cooperation, for further joint efforts in the regulation and exploration of space. I include among these possibilities a joint expedition to the moon. Space offers no problems of sovereignty; by resolution of this Assembly, the members of the United Nations have foresworn any claim to territorial rights in outer space or on celestial bodies, and declared that international law and the United Nations Charter will apply. Why, therefore, should man's first flight to the moon be a matter of national competition? Why should the United States and the Soviet Union, in preparing for such expeditions, become involved in immense duplications of research, construction, and expenditure? Surely we should explore whether the scientists and astronauts of our two countries--indeed of all the world--cannot work together in the conquest of space, sending someday in this decade to the moon not the representatives of a single nation, but the representatives of all of our countries. ....''

"Never before has man had such capacity to control his own environment, to end thirst and hunger, to conquer poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and massive human misery. We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world--or to make it the last."

-- John F. Kennedy, speech to the UN calling for an end to the Cold War and converting the Moon Race into an international cooperative effort, Sept 20, 1963, two months and two days before he was removed from office.

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