Happy New Year! And Here's To a United Front in 2011

Happy New Year! And Here's To a United Front in 2011

Editor’s Note

There are just under seven hours to go in 2010 here on the East Coast and we want to wish you all a Happy New Year.

We are going to resist the temptation to comment on what transpired over the past 11 months with the debate over the future of the human spaceflight program. At the end of the day — well, the day hasn’t ended.

NASA remains in limbo, caught between the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act and the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. It’s a sad situation and particularly unfortunate coming at a time when the political focus is on cutting discretionary spending and any agency without a clear mandate is at special risk. NASA will need all the friends it can get to maintain its programs against the tide of austerity.

The White House and Congress hold all the financial cards in what will happen in the coming year, but the aerospace community — entrepreneurial and traditional companies, grass roots activists, professional and industry associations, and the myriad other groups and individuals who are part of the space family — has a voice in the matter. Politicians do listen to their constituents and lobbyists do have influence.

Despite the intra-family disagreements, perhaps the aerospace community should have a common New Year’s Resolution as the clock strikes 12 tonight. It may be trite, but it’s true: united we stand, divided we fall.

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