The Politics of Space
with Casey Dreier
Space exploration doesn't just happen—it is made through the decisions of government, budgets, policy documents, and by individuals and industries. It reflects the needs and realities of politics, and understanding how, where, and why these decisions get made are crucial to influencing them. Space exploration is for all of us, and unless all of us know the process, it will inevitably be driven by the very few. Casey Dreier, The Planetary Society's Director of Advocacy, writes this blog.
We return to the big idea of the series – that the universe can be known and we better ourselves in our efforts to understand it – in the best episode of Cosmos so far.
The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Program (ASRG) was just cancelled by NASA. This was to be the saving grace for Plutonium-238 availability, as it was a much more efficient way to generate electricity than classic RTG systems.
Episode 5 focuses on Mars, the planet that has stubbornly refused to conform to the wishes of humanity for hundreds of years, from Lowell to Sagan. Grab your cosmo and join our discussion of 'Blues for a Red Planet.'
Congress and the White House are making decisions that impact funding for NASA's Planetary Exploration missions. We need to tell them that YES we are paying attention and care about the future of exploration.
We continue our analysis of Cosmos as we jump back in time to see the birth of modern science with Johannes Kepler or, as Sagan calls it, the first fusion of "imagination with observation." Welcome to Episode 3: The Harmony of the Worlds.
In episode 2 we switch from cosmos to microcosm and discover how we are connected to all living things. Is Sagan too authoritative in this episode? Plus, a major error in one of the stories.
We face immensity and a taste of things to come in the first episode of Cosmos, but we're also provided with the tools to comprehend our own place within the universe.