by sid y C i fo rm ent ty H er ia a GO l P ll i P M ro s a ay vin G or g oo Sc Gr d ot ou tS m nd ith
JESSICA MILLAN PATTERSON
discusses her new job as Chairwoman of the California GOP
June 2019 Volume 53, No. 3
Can we still do
A conversation with historian Douglas Brinkley, author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race Plus: Frank Lucas on the plan to return to the Moon by 2024 And: Bob Walker on NASA, the private sector & a new vision for space
$6.95 U.S./$7.95 Canada
“Ideas that matter, since 1965.“ Volume 53, Number 3 Beyond the Beltway
Cover Story (cont’d)
4 Why City Hall is a Good Proving Ground for the White House By Scott Smith Politics and Perspective
The Militarization of Space & the Path Forward for the U.S. By David A. Deptula Space-based systems are now fundamental to the conduct of war, and the U.S. military cannot fight effectively without them.
Eisenhower’s Unheralded Legacy in Space By Lou Zickar While JFK kick-started the space program with his Moonshot challenge, it was Ike who started NASA and got things off the ground.
Millennials and the New Space Age By Kyle Chance A look at how this young generation of Americans regards space exploration despite being born long after the last Moon landing.
10 Ways the Space Program has Benefited America By Marianne Dyson From scientific breakthroughs to cordless vacuums, an examination of how going to space has changed America and the world.
We Need to Reduce our Sea of Red Ink Before We Return to the Sea of Tranquility By Ross Marchand As America plots its return to the Moon, a reminder that these aspirations come with a lofty price tag.
An Innovative Solution to the Rising Cost of College By John Bailey William Barr and Congress’ Broken Contempt Power By Kevin Kosar
Cover Story 10
Can We Still Do Great Things? A conversation with Douglas Brinkley With America about to mark the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, an interview with one of the nation’s leading historians about whether such a momentous undertaking is still possible today.
Returning to the Moon: The First Step in a New Journey By Frank Lucas The Ranking Member of the House Science Committee discusses the plan to return to the Moon by 2024, and how it will set the stage for a new era of American exploration in space.
A New Vision for Space By Robert S. Walker One of America’s foremost experts on space policy argues that NASA must restructure itself as a developer of new space technologies, but it must do so in conjunction with the private sector.
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RIPON FORUM June 2019
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THE RIPON SOCIETY HONORARY CONGRESSIONAL ADVISORY BOARD U.S. Senators: Shelley Moore Capito - Senate Co-Chair Cory Gardner - Senate Co-Chair Marsha Blackburn Roy Blunt Richard Burr Bill Cassidy, M.D. Susan M. Collins Steve Daines Joni Ernst Deb Fischer John Hoeven Jerry Moran Pat Roberts Mike Rounds Thom Tillis Roger Wicker Todd Young U.S. Representatives: Susan W. Brooks - House Co-Chair Greg Walden - House Co-Chair Martha Roby - Vice Chair, South Darin LaHood - Vice Chair, Midwest Mike Kelly - Vice Chair, Northeast Dan Newhouse - Vice Chair, West Frank Lucas - Vice Chair, Southwest Mark Amodei Don Bacon Andy Barr Vern Buchanan Larry Bucshon, M.D. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. Ken Calvert Buddy Carter Tom Cole Doug Collins Paul Cook Rodney Davis Sean Duffy Tom Emmer Ron Estes Brian Fitzpatrick Bill Flores Kay Granger Sam Graves French Hill Bill Huizenga Bill Johnson Dave Joyce John Katko Adam Kinzinger Bob Latta Billy Long Kevin McCarthy Michael McCaul Cathy McMorris Rodgers Paul Mitchell John Moolenaar John Ratcliffe Tom Reed Tom Rice Steve Scalise John Shimkus Steve Stivers Glenn “GT” Thompson Mac Thornberry Mike Turner Fred Upton Jackie Walorski Brad Wenstrup Steve Womack
In this Edition One of the challenges of publishing a bimonthly journal is that you sometimes find yourself falling victim to the news of the day. This latest edition of The Ripon Forum is a good example. Roughly one week before we were set to publish this edition focused on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the plan for America to return to the Moon, the President issued a Tweet saying that was not the case. “For all of the money we are spending,” the nation’s 45th Chief Executive tweeted, “NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon - We did that 50 years ago. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!” For a moment, at least, it appeared the focus of this edition was no longer going to be, “Can we still do great things?” Rather, the focus was going to be, “Can we do anything?” But like so many of the President’s missives, this one was soon forgotten, and the plan to return to the Moon remained the official policy of NASA and the Trump White House, as well. But still, as has been the case with so many of the President’s Tweets, there was an underlying truth to some of the points that he had raised. For instance, the United States has been to the Moon before. Why is it now a top national priority to go back? And with federal spending through the roof and the national debt at an all-time high, how can the federal government justify the expense? This edition of the Forum attempts to answer those questions and others with essays by some of the leading experts on space policy today. U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-3), who serves as the Ranking Member of the Science, Space & Technology Committee, writes about the plan to return to the Moon by 2024 and how it will set the stage for a new era of American exploration in space in the coming years. Similarly, longtime space advocate Bob Walker, who Chaired the Science Committee in the 1990s, writes about the changing role of NASA, the growing role of the private sector, and the new vision of space in the United States. In another essay, retired Air Force General Dave Deptula of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies examines the proposal to establish a new Space Command, arguing that space-based systems are now fundamental to the conduct of war. In two other essays, I examine the role of Dwight Eisenhower in starting the modern space program, while the Forum’s Deputy Editor, Kyle Chance, explores how Millennials view space exploration today. Former NASA Flight Controller Marianne Dyson shares her thoughts on the top 10 ways space exploration has benefited the American people. And in an important reminder, Ross Marchand of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance points out that America’s lofty aspirations to return to the Moon also carry a lofty price tag – one, he argues, we cannot afford given our aforementioned national debt. Our coverage of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing kicks off with someone who knows the topic better than most. Historian Douglas Brinkley is the author of the recently-released book, “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.” In a conversation with the Forum, he discusses the birth of the space program and whether, in this age of debt and dysfunction, America can still do great things. In another essay for this latest edition, Scott Smith -- a Republican who served six years as the Mayor of Mesa, Arizona and also served as head of the U.S. Conference of Mayors – explains why he believes City Hall is a good proving ground for the White House at a time when six current and former Mayors are candidates for President of the United States. With the cost of college continuing to grow, John Bailey of the American Enterprise Institute shares his thoughts as to why Income Share Agreements could help prevent students from going into debt. Kevin Kosar of the R Street Institute provides an important update on Congress’ broken contempt power and why Attorney General William Barr is probably in the clear. And in our latest Ripon Profile, Jessica Millan Patterson discusses her new job as Chairwoman of the California Republican Party and the effort she is leading to rebuild that state’s GOP. As with every Ripon Forum, we hope you enjoy this latest edition, and welcome any comments or questions you might have. Lou Zickar, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org RIPON FORUM June 2019
Beyond the Beltway
Why City Hall is a Good Proving Ground for the White House by SCOTT SMITH
The Democratic field running for President has or Republican way to clean a street.” The realities of almost twenty-five contenders, but one attribute makes governing a city require mayors to collaborate with a this group stand out: six of them are current and former variety of groups, forge compromises, and build broadmayors. based support for initiatives. These are attributes voters This is unique in presidential politics. Only a dozen often say they want in their national leaders. So why or so mayors have ever run for president. Of these, only haven’t these successes elevated mayors to significance two – Grover Cleveland and on the national scene? Calvin Coolidge – were elected. Herein lies the rub for mayors With a bunch of mayors in this running on a national stage. While race, some wonder if it’s time for many mayors govern cities in a America to seriously consider smart, pragmatic, and bipartisan electing one to the White House. way, that type of leadership is Others, however, question whether greeted with a collective yawn on mayors have the right mettle and the national stage where hypermoxie to do the job in today’s partisanship and red meat rhetoric toxic political environment. One takes center stage. In other words, thing is certain: mayors will play a most mayors can’t fit into a nice, much bigger role than ever before neat box that cable TV shows can in shaping next year’s presidential package in 30-second sound bites. contest. The “outsider” label just doesn’t fit As the former mayor of most mayors. America’s 36th-largest city, I’m It wasn’t always this way. Not watching this election closely. I too long ago, former U.S. House Scott Smith admit it; I like mayors. I served Speaker Tip O’Neill declared during the Great Recession, a time that “all politics is local.” The of crisis that tested all political Speaker was referring to how leaders. Mayors from all parts of national decisions and issues Unlike a dysfunctional the country, both Republican and always had a local touchpoint. federal government, Democrat, met the challenges Not anymore. Hence, the biggest of governing. Watching their cities are where hurdle for mayoral contenders in successes and working with the 2020 presidential race: local government works. many of them firsthand, I was issues and successes rarely rise to impressed. become part of the national debate. Unlike a dysfunctional Newspapers, many of which are on federal government, cities are where government works. life support, have reduced or eliminated local coverage. Government shutdowns are not a choice at City Halls. Because of the internet and cable news, national partisan Many mayors are forced to make tough decisions on issues now often dominate even local elections. difficult issues. During the recession, mayors couldn’t, Mayors seem out of place in deeply partisan politics. and didn’t, kick problems down the road. They acted! And But with the shifting political winds, mayors have when they acted, both Democrats and Republicans often increasingly been drawn into or injected themselves deeply upset traditional constituencies, such as labor unions into ideological debates. Why? Because talking heads on and taxpayer groups. Successful mayors put community cable news tell us there is a Democratic and Republican way before the party. Former New York City Mayor Fiorello to clean streets. And sadly, many voters seem to agree. A LaGuardia once famously said, “There is no Democratic mayor who believes in problem solving and bipartisanship 4
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cannot satisfy the litmus tests of ideological purists on So … could a mayor meet the challenge of being either side of the political spectrum. President? Absolutely! Who wouldn’t appreciate a leader Also, voters – especially those motivated by hot- who has developed a skill for solving problems, bringing button issues – see mayor and president as fundamentally people together, forging compromises, enhancing different. They equate compromise with weakness. economic opportunities for all, and focusing on real I disagree, but I’m probably in the minority. One issues as opposed to partisan rhetoric? political pundit noted If history holds true, that “Americans . . . voters will unfortunately respect big-city mayors look past the record and go A mayor who believes in problem as managers, but not with the tough-sounding solving and a bipartisanship necessarily as custodians slogans. That does not bode of important values.” cannot satisfy the litmus tests of well for these six mayors In fact, voters running for President. ideological purists on either side often ignore a mayor’s Then again, one of them of the political spectrum. experience and just might break the mold accomplishments. A and rewrite history. mayor who ran for national And if this happens, I office told me that his biggest surprise during his run believe we would benefit from his or her experience as a was that “nobody on the campaign trail cared about my mayor. RF experience as a mayor.” This is especially problematic when the mayor whose identity and legacy is based on Scott Smith, a Republican, served as mayor of Mesa, a record of bipartisan success must pivot to a partisan Arizona from 2008 to 2014. He also served as President primary world where “gotcha” rhetoric and simplistic of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He is currently CEO of policy discussions dominate. Valley Metro, Phoenix’s regional transit system.
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A M S P R O U D LY S U P P O R T S T H E R I P O N S O C I E T Y
RIPON FORUM June 2019
Politics & Perspective
An Innovative Solution to the Rising Cost of College Income Share Agreements focus on what students offer, not what they owe by JOHN BAILEY total amount the student pays will vary depending on a Income Share Agreements (ISAs) offer an innovative way number of factors, including the income share percentage, to finance the education and training Americans need to secure the length of the contract term, and the student’s income. good paying jobs. However, in order for more students to benefit, Think of ISAs as equity financing instead of debt financing Congress needs to provide regulatory clarity establishing rules provided by student loans. of the road along with important consumer protections. ISAs are designed so that repayments rise and fall Our country needs a skilled workforce for continued depending on students’ income during the repayment economic growth and individual prosperity. The changing nature period, making them responsive not of work is providing both the fastest job just to changing economic conditions growth and income gains mostly to those but also to changing circumstances in with higher levels of skills and education. life. If a person needs to stop working At the same time, businesses of all sizes for a time, to tackle such real-life report having difficulty finding workers scenarios such as raising kids or with the knowledge and skills needed for retooling after they lose a job, their available jobs. For example, more than 86 payments are halted until they once percent of small business owners who are again rejoin the workforce. hiring reported finding few or no qualified But the real strength of ISAs applicants with the skills needed for job is that they share risk between the openings. This skills gap is likely to widen institution and the student. Since as automation reshapes jobs, eliminates repayment is based on the graduate’s others, and creates new jobs in emerging salary, institutions have an incentive industries. to ensure their programs meet Unfortunately, our current system of employer expectations, that students financing higher education and workforce John Bailey complete the program, and that they development is inadequate for meeting are placed in the highest-paying this national skills challenge. It’s broken job possible. This aligns financial in three important ways. First, it rewards Think of ISAs incentives around student success, not enrollment over student completion. So as equity financing just enrolling in a program. instead of getting degrees, students are Despite these benefits, ISAs dropping out. Only 30 percent of students instead of debt are available in only a handful of complete a two-year program within three financing provided institutions. The most well-known years. And just 49 percent of first-time, ISA is the “Back a Boiler” program by student loans. full-time students who receive a Pell Grant based at Purdue University. Students graduate within six years at four-year opting into an ISA pay a portion of their income between institutions. Second, financial aid growth has mostly consisted 88 and 110 months, depending on the major, or until they of loans. Total outstanding student loan debt has surpassed pay back 250 percent of Purdue’s investment. Most students $1.5 trillion with 4.6 million borrowers in default. And third, are expected to repay 1.67 times the amount of the original our current financial aid system doesn’t support students who ISA, but those who earn less than $20,000 a year won’t be are participating in new workforce programs through coding expected to repay anything. bootcamps or technology apprenticeships. Most schools don’t see ISAs as a primary means of ISAs offer a relatively straightforward and elegant solution. funding the total cost for attending college. Instead, ISAs An investor, such as a university or job training provider, pays are used to complement other forms of financial aid and for the student’s education in exchange for a percentage of his reduce the reliance on traditional loans – be they federal or her future earnings for a set period after graduation. The 6
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or private. In some cases, institutions are using ISAs with Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Todd Young students who would not otherwise have access to financial (R-IN) introduced the Student Success Act (S. 268). The aid such as the Fund SueĂąos program at Colorado Mountain companion bill in the House -- The Student Achievement Act (H.R. 3145) -- was introduced by former Representatives Luke College for its DACA students. ISAs are also being used to support new workforce Messer (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO). The proposed bills models, such as the technology apprenticeships offered at would establish a minimum income threshold (below which Kenzie Academy, Lambda School, and Make School. These a student would not be obligated to pay), caps on the length of repayment, disclosure programs are currently shut requirements, bankruptcy out of federal financial aid treatment, and federal tax programs and have turned to The primary barrier preventing ISAs as both a financing tool ISAs from serving more students treatment. The timing might be and a way to align financial is a lack of regulatory clarity. right for a bill to finally pass assistance with educational given the urgency of solving outcomes and job placement. the skills gap and helping The primary barrier individuals navigate the preventing ISAs from serving more students is a lack of regulatory clarity. There future of work. Enacting these policy reforms will increase are unanswered questions related to the tax and bankruptcy needed financial assistance for students and workers to get treatment of these agreements, verification of recipientsâ€™ the education and training they need to thrive in the modern RF incomes, and whether usury laws apply. Operational safe- economy. harbors and consumer protections also need be codified to create the certainty needed for the ISA market to flourish while John Bailey is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise protecting students from overcommitting to future obligations Institute, where he works on finding new ways to reskill individuals who have lost their jobs during times of economic and from potential bad actors in the market. In past Congresses, policymakers have sought to address disruption, whether because of normal business cycles, the lack of a legal or regulatory framework for ISAs. Senators automation, or artificial intelligence.
RIPON FORUM June 2019
William Barr and Congress’ Broken Contempt Power by KEVIN R. KOSAR Last month, the House Judiciary Committee voted to Barr’s appearance before the House and accused him of recommend that the House hold Attorney General William lying — has indicated that she will schedule the vote. But Barr in contempt of Congress. The 24-16 decision was made exactly when that will happen has not been announced — it along partisan lines. The vote came 19 days after Congress is possible that this action is being delayed as Democrats demanded Barr deliver to members an unredacted copy of consider whether to include other Trump officials in the the Mueller report — which he refused to do. contempt proceedings. That the committee’s Democrats held Barr in contempt Democrats hold 235 of the chamber’s 425 seats — a is unsurprising. Last month, Barr held a news conference solid majority. Nearly all can be expected to vote “yea” on that spun the Mueller report favorably the Barr contempt resolution. toward President Donald Trump, who Contempt of Congress, as the drives the left crazy. Subsequently, the nonpartisan Congressional Research attorney general ticked off Democrats Service points out, is a tool little used further by haggling over if and when in the modern era. Since 1980, only he would appear before Congress. four individuals have been found in When he did show up, he tossed gas contempt. on the flames by dismissing Robert The contempt resolution is not Mueller’s complaint about the presser especially effective, either. Congress as “snitty” and generally refusing to last used it in 2012 against thenkowtow to the left side of the dais. Attorney General Eric Holder for And, of course, he initially defied the refusing to turn over documents committee subpoena to release the relating to the Fast and Furious unredacted Mueller report, arguing gun-running debacle. The charge among other things that it would be against Holder was dropped by a illegal to share privileged grand jury judge in 2014. Holder paid no price Kevin R. Kosar information. and remains an éminence grise How this all will play out is in Democratic politics — earlier Congress’ contempt anyone’s guess. The committee’s this year, he tested the waters for a vote comes with no consequence for problem is a separation presidential run. Indeed, William Barr beyond marking his reputation. Barr seems little worried; he jokingly of powers one. Once For the left, the contempt vote is a asked Speaker Pelosi if she had scarlet letter; for much of the right, the House votes handcuffs for him. it is a badge of honor. It came from Congress’ contempt problem, in affirmatively, the Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who short, is a separation of powers one. process moves to last year — long before the Mueller Once the House votes affirmatively, report was released — was reportedly the process moves to another branch another branch of overheard on the Acela train talking of government. If the House seeks government. about how Dems were going to a criminal prosecution, it refers the impeach both Trump and Supreme matter to the Department of Justice Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh once they took control of — yes, the same Department of Justice that Barr heads. the House. When Congress held an Environmental Protection Agency Officially, the committee vote recommended that the administrator in contempt of Congress in the 1980s, DOJ’s whole House of Representatives hold Barr in contempt. Office of Legal Counsel declared it was not obligated to This means that a resolution needs to be drafted, introduced, present the matter before a grand jury. In short, game over, and referred to the Rules Committee, which will decide Congress. whether the resolution will be debated on the floor. Speaker The House of Representatives could also attempt to Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. — who was particularly vexed by enforce the resolution via civil suit. This avoids the bother 8
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of having to rely on DOJ but requires help from the third general is exceedingly high-stakes — what if the sergeantbranch, which tends to take a very long time to reach a at-arms is rebuffed by DOJ’s police? Like so many aspects of the First Branch, its contempt decision. When Congress pursued two contempt cases during the George W. Bush Administration, the legal wrangling power is broken. Fixing it would require updating the took two years. No verdict was rendered, as Congress ancient, mothballed inherent contempt processes to ensure and the executive branch cut a deal to settle the matter. that the proceedings are fair and expeditious. The House could do this on its authority — Seven years later, the Holder no executive or judicial branch contempt proceeding has still not assent is needed. But that would concluded. If the House seeks a take time, and the House instead Congress could use its criminal prosecution, it seems to want to try to extract inherent contempt authority refers the matter to the the full Mueller report through to escape this intra-branch conundrum. The House would Department of Justice — yes, the power of the purse and other authorities. order the chamber’s sergeantthe same Department of All of which means that the at-arms to arrest an individual House Judiciary Committee’s charged with contempt. Justice that Barr heads. vote against Attorney General Afterward, the charges would Barr is mostly Sturm und Drang. be presented, a trial would be Absent a leak, we will not being scheduled and then a vote to RF decide guilt would take place. Punishment in the form of seeing the full Mueller report anytime soon. fines could be meted out. This sort of proceeding has not been attempted in decades, not least because it consumes a Kevin R. Kosar (@kevinrkosar) is the vice president of B:7.625” policy at the R Street Institute, and co-founder of the ton of the House’s valuable floor time. And using inherentT:7.375” Legislative Branch Capacity Working Group. contempt against an administration official like an attorneyS:6.875”
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RIPON FORUM June 2019
Can we still do
A conversation with historian Douglas Brinkley, author of American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race
RIPON FORUM June 2019
If you were alive and of a certain age in 1969, you most likely remember where you were on July 20th of that year. In all likelihood, you also remember the rest of that decade. It was an era of unrest in America – of marches and protests and violence and war. The Apollo 11 Moon landing on that singular summer night stands out as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dark period. Of course, it wasn’t just a bright spot at that particular moment of American life. It was one of the brightest spots ever in the history of humanity. It was the moment that humans broke the bonds of Earth’s orbit and set foot on a celestial object that was not their own. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong’s words as he stepped off of the lunar lander could not have been more fitting. They are etched in the ages, and mankind will remember them forever. With America and the world marking the 50th anniversary of this giant leap next month, we thought it was a good time to look back on the period in which it took place. We do so with Douglas Brinkley, the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University. Brinkley is a CNN Presidential Historian and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He is also the author of, “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.” The Forum spoke with Brinkley recently about his book, the early years of the space program, and whether -- in this age of national debt and political dysfunction – it is even possible for such a momentous undertaking to happen in America again.
RF: Talk for a moment about the birth of the RF: Eisenhower started the space program, space program in the late 1950s. What was the but one could argue that Kennedy kick-started mood of the country – and the world – at that it by calling for America to land a man on the time? Moon by the end of the decade. Why did he DB: In the 1950s, the question was, “Would the make this bold declaration? United States or the DB: For one thing, Soviet Union become Sputnik happened on a the first nation to Republican President’s send human beings watch – Eisenhower’s. into space?” The big, Kennedy had been shocking moment was elected to the U.S. when the Soviet Union Senate in 1952 and was launched the Sputnik running again in 1958, satellite into orbit in and part of his stump October of 1957. Many speech was that the Americans thought we U.S. was falling behind were losing the Cold the Soviet Union in War if we were behind STEM research, not in satellites. In response just in space, and that to Sputnik, President we needed to do more Dwight Eisenhower in our high schools to In the 1950s, the question was, moved forward with teach math and science. Congress to create He said it was “Would the United States or the NASA. a national security Soviet Union become the first What’s interesting imperative that we were nation to send human beings about the birth of able to at least have NASA the following parity with the Soviet into space?” year is that it was about Union on satellites, civilians in space. Ike because satellites are wanted to make sure we about rocketry in the weren’t militarizing it. And so an effort was made to end. And if we were falling behind in ICBMs and begin pulling our best scientists, academicians, and intermediate range missiles, then the United States engineers, into thinking about how we could explore itself was vulnerable. Kennedy is the one who coined space and possibly go to the Moon. the phrase “a missile gap” with Russia. He got traction RIPON FORUM June 2019
with that message when he ran for the Senate, and he great fortitude and verve. continued it when he ran for the presidency in 1960. There is a crucial moment in the debates between RF: The 1960s were a divisive time, to say the Kennedy and Richard Nixon, Ike’s Vice President, when least. How was JFK, and then Johnson after him, Kennedy says, “You told Mr. Khrushchev that America is able to unify the country behind this singular goal? number one in kitchen appliances and colored TVs. Well, DB: Because we’d had success during Kennedy’s I’ll take my TV in black and white. I want to be number presidency. We had six Mercury missions, and all were one in rocket thrust.” At another moment in the debates, successful. It created heroes out of Alan Shepard and Gus Kennedy tells Nixon that, “If you’re elected President, Grissom and John Glenn and Scott Carpenter and Gordon I see a Soviet flag planted on the Moon. I want to see Cooper. They became the biggest celebrities in the country an American flag on the Moon.” And so he wrapped – the space stars. And so there was a public appetite for himself up into a kind of “Rah-Rah” space exploration space. mode. In fact, the term Now, there were many “New Frontier” that that thought going to the Kennedy used was a Moon shouldn’t be the top phrase frequently used priority – people on the in NASA culture. right like Senator Barry Then when he Goldwater of Arizona, became President, the and people on the left Soviets, in April of 1961, like William Fulbright of launched Yuri Gagarin Arkansas. And Eisenhower, into space. They had as well -- he called it a won the sweepstakes “stunt.” So it had its critics, – they had launched but there was enough of a the first human being feeling in the country to into outer space. And take on the challenge, and that happened on JFK’s it never got defunded. And watch. And so he became by the mid-1960s, over 4% fiercely determined to of our annual budget went match the Soviets with to NASA. an astronaut. He greenIn the end there were lit Alan Shepard going 400,000 Americans who into space on May 5th, took part in one way or Kennedy was a and then later that same another in the effort to get us master salesperson. month – on May 25th – to the Moon. It was a cause He sold the Moonshot to he went before a joint for celebration, because session of Congress and from the beginning of time, space with great fortitude made his famous pledge everybody has looked to and verve. to land a man on the the Moon. It controls our Moon by the end of the tides and rivers, we mark decade and bring him back alive. At that time at NASA, our calendars around the moon, and it’s been romanticized people were like, “You’ve gotta be kidding me – we by poets and painters. And we never really were able to don’t have the technology to go to the Moon.” touch it before. Then suddenly, there’s Neil Armstrong of But in the end, that was the whole point of it – the Ohio walking on the Moon and leaving bootprints on it. It Apollo program – to start marshaling the universities, was the high water mark of American can-do-ism. the scientists, the Fortune 500 companies, the Armed Forces, and the government agencies together in a RF: Flash forward to present day. The country collective endeavor that would improve American is divided, though perhaps not as divided as it science and space exploration – all in the name of was in the ‘60s. And in terms of our budget, the peace, not war. So instead of fighting a proxy war like national debt is clearly going through the roof. Do in Korea versus the Soviet Union, Kennedy thought why you think it is possible to unify the country behind don’t we just have a race to the Moon? And he kind another goal of this magnitude in this age of debt of frames it as a battle between democratic capitalism and dysfunction? Put another way, can we still do and communist totalitarianism. And he was a master great things? salesperson. Kennedy sold the Moonshot to space with DB: Americans still do great things, but in this 12
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current political climate, particularly with the 2020 on negativity or pessimism or insults or anger. It’s presidential election looming, it’s going to be hard to about we can do it. That’s why I keep using can-dogalvanize public support behind one grand endeavor. ism. American exceptionalism means that we’re an For example, the problem of climate change is so amazing country and a great democracy, and if we pull intense that many people talk about an “Earthshot” our collective self together, we can do great things. to repair our damaged planet. And then there are RF: Finally, let’s return to the main others, like Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, two of the Apollo 11 astronauts, who want a “Mars-shot.” protagonist of your book – JFK. How would he So people are looking for an idea that might pull the handle some of these challenges and confront the problems facing our country together. nation today? But Donald Trump DB: Kennedy would is a politician who plays try to unify the country. divide-and-conquer. He’s That was the whole point not a unifier. And you of his inauguration and have to have the right kind his presidency. What that of spirit to pull our society means is that if we’re going together on a big endeavor to Mars, be a President like that. A mission who gets out there and says to Mars may happen – we’re going to Mars. Visit because we want to beat the space ports. Interact China there. Or we’ll go with the companies that back to the Moon because will be involved. Stoke we want to explore the the public’s imagination. ice cap on the South Pole. We forget that some of our Or it may be that after 12 great Presidents were just white men on the Moon, masterful at moving public the public decides it’s opinion. time for a woman to walk I wrote on Theodore on the Moon. I believe it Douglas Brinkley Roosevelt and the national will happen at some point, parks and conservation. but timing is crucial. In He saved 234 million acres history, there’s a moment I do think there of wilderness in America, – there’s a season – for is a national hungering not because the public everything. I do think there was clamoring for it, but is a national hungering for for another Apollo 11-like because he believed we another Apollo 11-like endeavor. But it will take should save our beautiful endeavor. But it will take places and he led. That’s presidential leadership to presidential leadership to what Kennedy brought pick what that is. Barack pick what that is. to the space technology Obama focused on the realm. Ever since 9/11, Affordable Health Care Act and ate up a lot of oxygen. Donald Trump wants we’ve been little more than a kingdom of fear. Instead of being optimistic about the future, you’re a wall between the Mexico and the U.S. Both of these hearing a lot of stories about American decline, about are very divisive. The Moonshot didn’t have that kind of our broken politics, and about a general malaise across divisiveness, because once Alan Shepard went into the land. If Kennedy were here, I think he would say, space, everybody was begging for more. And you “Nonsense. America’s best days are yet to come!” RF know, America is fueled by optimism. You can’t run
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Returning to the Moon: The First Step in a New Journey by FRANK LUCAS
In 1969, driven by curiosity, ambition, and an innate however, is water ice. Lunar ice can help us replenish oxygen urge to explore, Americans landed on the Moon. Doing so and create rocket fuel that propels us to Mars. The two at the height of the Cold War helped establish our country’s elements that make up water can be separated and converted technological supremacy and gave us a fundamental edge to rocket fuel’s basic components: liquid hydrogen and liquid over the Soviet Union. oxygen. Using the Moon as a refueling station allows us to Today, our reasons for returning to the Moon are even launch from Earth without being weighed down by all the stronger than they were fifty years ago. Going back to the fuel needed for the entire Mars journey. Moon isn’t a symbolic effort: Lunar ice is just one of many we need an American presence reasons that our ambition to visit there to keep us at the forefront Mars and travel deeper into space of technological development, to requires us to first return to the identify and manage lunar resources, Moon. It will give us the ability and to power our missions to Mars. to develop and test technology, The technological innovations life-support, radiation protection, that come from human exploration communications, and propulsion of the Moon have direct practical systems to safely send humans to applications here on Earth. Mars. Technology developed by NASA With all these benefits, the is now used in everything from question isn’t whether humans will infant formula to cell phones. return to the Moon; the question is We have precise robotic surgical whether the United States will lead capabilities and safer flights from in that effort. We’re facing increased deicing chemicals because of international competition and we can NASA innovations. Developing the no longer take American leadership technology necessary to establish in space for granted. China has a human presence on the Moon been vocal about plans to establish Going back to the will have untold applications in the a human base on the moon. Unlike Moon isn’t a symbolic future. Direct study is also critical the U.S., which has a civilian agency from a purely scientific perspective. overseeing space exploration, China’s effort: we need an The Moon can give us a wealth of program is managed by the People’s American presence information about our Sun, our Liberation Army. There are very real there to keep us at the Solar System, and our planet, giving reasons to be concerned about China us a better idea of our place in the forefront of technological having an advantage over the U.S. universe. from the technological innovations development, to identify The Moon also has exciting and resource development that will potential resources. Mining rare come from returning to the Moon. and manage lunar earth elements and platinum President Trump and Vice resources, and to power group metals can provide valuable President Pence recognize the urgent our missions to Mars. commercial development. Helium-3 need for American leadership in could be used to power nuclear space and have set an ambitious fusion reactors, fueling clean energy development. And challenge to land on the Moon by 2024 as part of a broader creating the technology to explore and extract the Moon’s effort to increase human space exploration. resources can help us learn how to extract resources from Returning to the Moon won’t be easy, however. We are asteroids. in the process of developing the technological capabilities Perhaps the most valuable resource on the Moon, we will need. Reaching the Moon requires rockets far more 14
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I believe we now have most of the pieces in place powerful than those used to reach the International Space to make a return to the Moon possible. Our President Station (ISS). The Space Launch System (SLS) will be and Vice President have a bold and inspiring plan. My the most powerful rocket built. In concert with the Orion colleagues in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, are eager spacecraft, a state-of-the-art crew capsule, SLS will allow us to support this goal. NASA has proposed an initial plan that to travel to the Moon and, eventually, beyond. is budget neutral and technically feasible and gives NASA We also need to make progress on new technologies the down payment to send which aren’t yet fully Americans to the Moon by funded or developed. The space suits we currently use President Trump and Vice President 2024 without jeopardizing other critical missions. for extravehicular activity Pence recognize the urgent need for We have the vision, outside the ISS do not have we have the commitment, the capabilities required for American leadership in space and and we have the logistics use on the Moon. We need have set an ambitious challenge to in place. Our task is to to engineer new suits that land on the Moon by 2024. stay the course and work are compatible with multiple together to make both mission requirements. And, the initial and long-term of course, we need lunar investments necessary to send American astronauts to the landers capable of carrying humans. NASA is working with Moon and ultimately Mars. RF commercial partners to develop these vehicles. Beyond the technological innovation, however, a return to Frank Lucas represents the 3rd District of Oklahoma in the the Moon requires steadfast and consistent support. It requires U.S. House of Representatives. He serves as the Ranking a true national commitment—one that doesn’t change year Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology after year, or with political swings. For too long U.S. space Committee. exploration has been plagued by a lack of both vision and a long-term commitment to see ideas through to execution.
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A New Vision for Space by ROBERT S. WALKER Fifty years ago, the whole world watched America put He did that very quickly and supplied specific missions for the human footprints on the Moon. That moment was more than Council with a series of Presidential Space Directives. Today, a technological triumph and point of national pride. Humans the NSpC holds regular meetings where the multiple agencies walking on the Moon was a monumental historic achievement with space portfolios report on what they are doing to carry never to be forgotten. And even today we remain the only nation out the presidential directives. This need for regular public ever to have humans travel beyond low earth orbit (LEO). reporting has driven significant activity. In the years since, we have made our economy and our The challenge posed by international adversaries in space national security utterly dependent on space. No aspect of our has been a focus of the Trump Administration. In particular, the $19 trillion economy is without some President has called for the establishment connection to space-based assets. The of a Space Force as an independent asymmetric advantages that our military branch of the military just like the Army, has in its missions are directly tied to our Navy, Air Force and Marines. The new ability to utilize space. But today our branch would organize, train and equip economy and our national security are military personnel to respond to threats threatened by other international players we face in space and from space. The who want to deny us those advantages. problem now is that each of the other And so, we now face the reality that our military branches has their specific adversaries are introducing offensive and mission on land or sea or in the air. defensive weapons in space which we While they see space as an essential must counter. Space has become a place component of their role, none have it as of confrontation and potential conflict. their primary focus. The situation has Whoever came to power in 2017 become so critical that a branch with was going to be faced with space space as its total focus is necessary. challenges. New technologies for launch Another Trump initiative promised to space and for use in space needed to in the campaign was a renewed emphasis NASA must be developed. We had to train and equip on human space exploration beyond restructure itself as military personnel to defend our space LEO. The specific promise was to have interests. We could not send American an aggressive program aimed at driving a developer of new astronauts to our Space Station on technology development by focusing on space technologies, American built rockets. We lacked human exploration of the entire solar coordination among the various agencies system within a century. What that but it must do so in of the federal government on key issues portends is moving beyond chemical conjunction with the of space policy. Our planning for deep rockets to nuclear power and eventually entrepreneurial space even anti-matter engines. space human exploration was hampered by disagreement over whether we should But it starts with going back to the businesses. go back to the Moon or go directly to Moon and establishing a permanent Mars. And the traditional space contractors were battling the human presence there. The Vice President shocked the space new space entrepreneurs over how government money should community by setting a goal for this accomplishment by 2024. be allocated. NASA has gone to work to move its legacy programs forward The election of Donald Trump reset the space table. He to meet that goal and requested the funding that would be had promised during his campaign to reinstitute the National required. At the same time there are commercial companies Space Council led by the Vice President to organize and with their own similar plans, and the Vice President said that coordinate the various space entities within the government the goal would be reached by any means available. Just recently and to reach beyond government to find private companies and Jeff Bezos on behalf of his Blue Origin space company showed private capital willing to join in the nationâ€™s space programs. a prototype of Moon lander that he said could be placed on 16
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the Moon by 2023 with humans following by 2024. And he doorway you walk through on your way to orbit. More than is presently building a rocket big enough to take all 33,000 a decade ago, a presidential commission recommended that pounds of that lander to the Moon’s surface. more of NASA’s centers reconstitute themselves as Federally Looking ahead, there needs to be a public understanding Financed Research and Development Centers like the Jet and a government understanding that a new era of space with Propulsion Laboratory has always been. The reasoning was new space realities has arrived. The fundamental realization NASA would have a greater ability to interact with commercial must be that space is essential to life companies as a source of expertise as we know it. and could draw upon outside NASA can no longer Space is now a competitive companies to help NASA with the zone with satellites chasing satellites government funded projects. That be the only doorway all the time. Our military must be recommendation is still valid. you walk through on given the organization and the The Trump Administration has resources to protect our space assets. brought excitement and inspiration your way to orbit. Our other space-related government back to the space enterprise. The agencies must revisit their roles. past record shows us when we lead The Department of Commerce is already preparing to in space, we lead on earth. That is the reality that President do space situational awareness and traffic management with Trump has given us in a new vision for space. RF thousands of new satellites expected to be placed in orbit. They will also have to be involved with cleaning up space debris Robert S. Walker represented the 16th District of Pennsylvania because we now have billions of pieces of space junk, large and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1997. small, which are threatening to clog space access and damage He served as chairman of the House Science, Space, and on-orbit satellites Technology Committee, and is the former chairman of the NASA must restructure itself as a developer of new Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry. space technologies, but it must do so in conjunction with the He is currently the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of entrepreneurial space businesses. It can no longer be the only moonWalker Associates.
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The Militarization of Space & the Path Forward for the U.S. by DAVID A. DEPTULA As we approach the 50 th Anniversary of the moon cadre of U.S. space operators must substantially add landing — a time when operations in space promised new depth of capabilities beyond simply providing to be in “peace for all mankind” — the reality of the support for warfighters by developing the ability to future is changing. Today, actions on the part of China fight as warfighters themselves. and Russia point to the militarization of space and the The U.S. did not seek to weaponize space, but reality that warfare will extend into space. the actions of China and Russia demand a response. Threats are rapidly growing As Air Force Chief of Staff to U.S. space-based capabilities David Goldfein said on Feb. that are critical for intelligence, 3, 2017, “Our vision is to first banking, communications, normalize space operations as transportation, accurate weapons a joint warfighting domain; employment, and a host of other no different than any other areas to name but a few. In 2007, warfighting domain.” a Chinese anti-satellite (ASAT) The Trump Administration test destroyed its target orbiting has proposed structural changes the earth. Additional Chinese to the Department of Defense and Russian ASAT tests since (DOD) to address this situation. then suggest an ability to reach The most significant are the geosynchronous orbit, where establishment of a new unified most of the U.S. intelligence combatant command, the U.S. satellites are located. Russia and Space Command, to focus on China are also developing cowarfighting in space, and a orbital systems that can disrupt request to Congress to create or destroy our satellites. Because a U.S. Space Force as the sixth Dave Deptula these systems are “dual-use,” armed service. meaning that they may be used A contemplative look at either for peaceful purposes or these proposals reveals that one for counterspace operations, Space-based systems is appropriate while the other hostile intentions are difficult to is still premature. The best are now fundamental detect. way to address threats to U.S. to the conduct of war, The U.S. must respond operations in space is to stand quickly and strategically to up the combatant command for and the U.S. military this new reality. Space-based space operations as rapidly as cannot fight effectively systems are now fundamental to possible. Once established, it the conduct of war, and the U.S. without them. will reinvigorate an urgency military cannot fight effectively for dealing with the growing without them. At the same time, military threats to our spacebecause U.S. policy had presumed space would remain based capabilities. a peaceful sanctuary, the U.S. is woefully behind in Before establishing a new armed service for space, space-based warfighting capabilities. however, we must first ensure the conditions are in Two objectives are imperative to adapt and mature place to ensure its success. The idea of a separate space our space policy to keep the American people secure. armed service will make sense someday, but only once First, the national security space community must it actually benefits the U.S. security enterprise. transition from treating space as a sanctuary to regarding By definition, standing up a new “armed” service space as a warfighting domain. And second, the current requires it to have “arms” and the ability to achieve 18
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military effects commensurate with those of the other The Air Force must mature the cadre in the U.S. armed services. Currently, the U.S. has no arms in space Air Force Space Command to enable them not only to nor military capabilities proportionate with the other defend our space-based enablers from attack, but also to armed services. It will be years before we do. be prepared to fight enemy threats in space. This requires Additionally, establishing a separate space armed the Air Force to: force will be premature until the following key essentials 1) Cross-train and develop its space personnel for are also accomplished. First, Congress must address warfighting; constraints to fully-weaponized space capability. The 2) Exercise warfighting capabilities in and from DOD must also mature space warfare theory and space, and; concepts of operation. In addition, DOD must possess 3) Develop the personnel and facilities to accomplish a requisite number of trained personnel to fight in space. all of the above. Finally, sufficient resources To actualize these must be committed to build changes, today’s U.S. Air and sustain expanded U.S. Force Space Command space operations across the should be re-designated as entire warfighting spectrum. the U.S. Air Force Space The U.S. should also Force as a major command gain more focused control within the Air Force of its disparate space assets. hierarchy, with the mission As the Vice President of not only providing forces recently stated, “Our national for the new U.S. Space security space program is Command, but of creating spread across more than 60 the conditions to eventually departments and agencies, evolve into a separate armed resulting in a glaring lack of force — once all the key leadership and accountability essentials are in hand. that undermines our We are at the beginning combatant commanders and of a significant evolution puts our warfighters at risk.” regarding military The Administration’s operations in space. proposed new armed service Managed prudently, a for space does nothing to fundamental re-vectoring address this problem. As of America’s national proposed, it will consist security space enterprise as simply of a segment of the outlined above will result The Air Force must mature the current Air Force Space minimal bureaucratic cadre in the U.S. Air Force Space in Command without drawing impacts and improved in any resources from the Command to enable them not economies of scale. They 60-plus other government can be accomplished only to defend our space-based organizations with a stake in without risking harm to enablers from attack, but also space and security. In fact, the our established U.S. space Administration’s proposed architecture. to be prepared to fight enemy changes will actually create Yet they would be threats in space. several additional new significant enough to set space organizations, further in motion the fundamental complicating an already changes necessary, not only bloated space bureaucracy. to defend our space assets, but also to ensure success if The U.S. Air Force has led the U.S. armed forces ever necessary to fight in, through, or from space. RF in establishing America’s space capability, making it the world’s unrivaled leader. Today, the Air Force possesses Three-star General Dave Deptula is the Dean of the a highly integrated set of air and space capabilities Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in Arlington, organized to seamlessly contribute to overall U.S. military Virginia. A world-recognized leader in conceptualizing, might. Splitting this integration into two services would planning, and executing national security operations reduce the Nation’s military power. That said, greater from humanitarian relief to major combat operations, he emphasis on space is required. has also orchestrated space operations during combat. RIPON FORUM June 2019
Eisenhower’s Unheralded Legacy in Space by LOU ZICKAR With the 75th anniversary of D-Day behind us and the 50th proved as President. Rather, his opposition was driven by his anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing occurring next conviction that engaging the Soviets in a race to the Moon month, it is a good time to remember the accomplishments of was too costly with little strategic gain. “By all means we must carry on our explorations in space,” Brinkley quotes a leader who helped shape both events. The leader was Dwight D. Eisenhower. As Supreme Eisenhower as writing in an op-ed for the Saturday Evening Allied Commander in Europe during World War II, Post. “But I frankly do not see the need as such a fantastically Eisenhower was the architect of the Normandy landing expensive crash program.” Privately, Ike was even more scathing. “Of all the silly, – the General who commanded the troops, approved the immature proposals,” Ike wrote in a invasion, and was ready to accept letter that was found in the archives lone responsibility for the risky and of The Ripon Society, “this was one massive undertaking had it failed. of the most stupid and costly that Just over a dozen years later, quickly comes to mind. We have no while serving as President, Ike way of knowing whether the Soviets played an equally critical role in have accepted or laughingly ignored laying the foundation of the space the challenge; we do know that the program. The National Aeronautics prestige of America depends upon and Space Administration was her solid accomplishments in worldestablished during his presidency, betterment rather than games and and the race to catch and surpass stunts.” the Soviet Union in satellite and Eisenhower died in March rocket technology following the 1969, so we have no way of knowing launch of Sputnik in October 1957 whether he would have changed his was largely accomplished before he mind if he had lived to see Apollo left office in January of 1961. 11 touch down on the lunar surface And yet Eisenhower’s legacy in July of that year. But we do know with regard to the space program that he wasn’t alone in questioning remains somewhat unheralded. In the wisdom of making the Moonshot part, this is because of the pivotal While JFK is a national priority. role that President John F. Kennedy rightly credited with Indeed, as Yanek Mieczkowski played in the space program’s writes in “Eisenhower’s Sputnik early years, when he declared in kick-starting the space Moment,” Kennedy himself May 1961 that America “should program with his bold raised similar questions about the commit itself to achieving the mission two months before his own challenge to land a man goal, before this decade is out, of death. Recounting a September landing a man on the Moon and on the Moon, it was 1963 meeting JFK had with thenreturning him safely to the Earth.” Eisenhower who started NASA Administrator James Webb, Eisenhower’s legacy in space is further complicated by his reaction the space program and got Mieczkowski writes that: “[Kennedy] stressed to Webb that they needed to to this bold challenge by JFK. In things off the ground. rationalize the mission using national short, he was opposed to it. security reasons rather than the As historian Douglas country’s world image, explaining, Brinkley documents in his recent book, “American Moonshot,” Eisenhower’s opposition ‘The most we can say is this has got some military justification was driven not by his belief that Americans should refrain and not just prestige. Otherwise, Eisenhower who’s been kicking from exploring the cosmos — he supported that, which he it around … he’s going to look like he’s probably right.’” 20
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Right or not, one thing is certain looking back on these a Christmas message from the President of the United States events today -- while John F. Kennedy is rightly credited to the people of the world — making Eisenhower’s the first with kick-starting the space program with his bold challenge voice that was ever broadcast from space. Just over fourteen to land a man on the Moon, it was Dwight D. Eisenhower years earlier, that same voice had been used to launch three who started the space program million men into battle. Now and got things off the ground. it was being used to convey a “NASA’s founding secured NASA was established during message of peace and goodwill Eisenhower’s legacy in space around the globe. Ike’s presidency, and the race policy,” Mieczkowski writes, America has come a long “and the organization flowered to catch and surpass the Soviet way since D-Day. The world during the last two years of his has come a long way. And as Union in satellite and rocket presidency.” America and the world prepare technology following the Mieczkowski notes that to mark the 50th anniversary of Ike accelerated funding for the the Moon landing next month, launch of Sputnik was largely Saturn super-booster, an early it is fitting that we remember not accomplished before version of the rocket that would only the critical role that Dwight eventually take America to the he left office. D. Eisenhower played in both Moon. He also boosted research events, but how the leadership and development in another he provided as General and as critical area -- satellite technology. “When Eisenhower left President shaped the world we live in today. RF office,” Mieczkowski writes, “two numbers stood out: thirtyone and nine. The United States had sent thirty-one satellites Lou Zickar is the Editor of The Ripon Forum, a centrist into space; the Soviet Union, nine.” Republican journal of political thought and opinion On December 19, 1958, one of those satellites broadcast published by The Ripon Society.
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Millennials and the New Space Age
Launching a new era in exploration by KYLE CHANCE Fifty years ago, a young generation of Americans entering a recession, bringing high inflation and high witnessed first-hand mankind’s most awe-inspiring unemployment. It was difficult to sustain the infatuation of achievement of the twentieth century. Broadcast live from space exploration as sobering realities of economic hardship over 200,000 miles away and featured on the front page of grew each day. Over time public opinion shifted to support every newspaper was the iconic image of Neil Armstrong more funds being directed toward space-related initiatives, standing on the surface of the Moon. Now that the Space but the assertion that the children of the 1960’s had an Race is well in the rearview mirror, inherent captivation and support does this younger generation maintain for expanded exploration is rather a similar intrigue in extraterrestrial baseless. exploration and discovery as their Millennials are generally defined parents and grandparents? as being born between 1981 and To answer this question, you 1996, and came long after the final have to look back at public opinion manned Moon landing in 1972 and in the 1960s-70s during the genesis the years when NASA’s missions of NASA’s global dominance—the were broadcast live on nationwide Apollo program. This initiative was television. Despite growing up long the catalyst that shifted the U.S. space after the Space Race of the midprogram from a political exercise to twentieth century, they were able to being at the forefront of scientific experience their fair share of spacediscovery. The public must have been related breakthroughs. crying out for more funding and The Space Shuttle program further investment, right? Not at all. began its thirty-year mission in the In 1973, the US was coming off 1980s, making possible the iconic Kyle Chance of a rapid-fire series of six manned missions such as Spacelab, the Hubble missions to the surface of the Moon. Space Telescope, the International Instead of finding overwhelming Space Station, as well as launching According to a Pew support for national spending on the satellites and unmanned spacecraft survey conducted space program, the annual General sent to study the outer limits of the Social Survey found that 59% of solar system. More recently, in early last year, 70% of Americans said too much was being 2016, scientists detected gravitational Millennials say it is spent on our space exploration waves from the merger of two black program, and among 18-34 year-olds, essential for the U.S. to holes 1.3 billion light years away, and that number was 55%. Only 9% of on April 10, 2019, NASA announced remain a world leader the young Baby Boomer generation the first-ever image of a black hole— in space. responded by saying too little was both events confirming the centurybeing spent on space exploration, old predictions of Albert Einstein’s while one quarter of them believed general theory of relativity. that spending was about where it should be. With this in mind, it should not be surprising that Although the space age had finally arrived in the Millennials are, in fact, no different than Boomers when United States, there were concerns held by the public that it comes to their present support and approval of U.S. tarnished NASA’s work. Cynicism was fed by the end of participation in global space initiatives. According to a the Vietnam conflict—which cost taxpayers $1 trillion Pew survey conducted last year, 70% of Millennials say it in today’s dollars—the oil crisis, and the western world is essential for the U.S. to remain a world leader in space, 22
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compared to 73% for Gen Xers and 71% for Baby Boomers. spearheading their own space exploration initiatives. Seeing When it comes to whether the space station has been a good abundant potential on the horizon, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and investment, 88% of Millennials say it has compared to Virgin Galactic are private sector leaders in what some have 78% and 75% for those of the Generation X and Boomer dubbed the “billionaire space race,” and are heavily investing in technological development and acquiring resources to generation respectively. Furthermore, Millennials seem to be more enthusiastic take advantage of the new consumer-driven space age of the twenty-first century. Acting about the newer aspects independently from NASA, of space exploration. For these companies are seeking example, 63% of Millennials Even though their generation to take mankind into a new say they are “definitely or sees another manned mission era of frequent, affordable, probably” interested in space and boundary-pushing space tourism—something which to the Moon as less of a exploration. some experts anticipate priority, Millennials place a Millennials differ becoming a $23 billion higher importance on climate from previous generations industry within the decade in seemingly every way – and having its first trips in monitoring, scientific research, demographically, politically, the next couple years. The and sending astronauts to Mars. and professionally – but level of interest among Gen to assume that space Xers and Baby Boomers exploration has gone out of comes in at a meager 39% and 27%. Additionally, even though their generation fashion with young Americans would be unjustified. Not sees another manned mission to the Moon as less of a only are they picking up where other generations left off, priority, Millennials place a higher importance on climate but their expectations for space exploration are the most RF monitoring, scientific research, and sending astronauts to ambitious this country has seen. Mars than older Americans. Private companies are taking note and are now Kyle Chance is the Deputy Editor of The Ripon Forum.
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10 Ways the Space Program has Benefited America by MARIANNE DYSON Less than a half cent of every federal dollar goes to 7) Role Models -- In the 1960s, my role model was Star NASA. Below are ten ways this investment has benefited Trek’s Lt. Uhuru —communications officer — played by me personally, and I feel benefits all Americans. Nichelle Nichols. By 1982, I was a Flight Activities Officer 10) Inspiring Youth -- I caught “the space bug” during in Mission Control. A 2019 survey of kids’ dream jobs Apollo 8. I wrote in my diary, “I wish very much to be able ranked scientist at 5 and astronaut at 11.7 Find these NASA to be an astronaut. I’m sorry I’m a girl, but I’ll have to try role models on Twitter or meet them in person. In 2018, a harder then.”1 million space center visitors had the opportunity to share Research shows that “interest has the power to lunch with an astronaut.8 transform struggling performers, and to lift achievers to a 6) Commerce -- Want to fly in space? Billionaires Jeff new plane.”2 Space helped me face the challenge of a girl Bezos, Elon Musk, Robert Bigelow, and Richard Branson pursuing science in the 1970s and is are betting on it. The International boosting the achievement of millions Space Station is open for business, of kids today. too. Tourism is a growing sliver of 9) Motivating Education -- Most the global space economy, worth NASA jobs require college degrees. $344.5 billion in 2017. Studies My family couldn’t afford college for predict a trillion-dollar space market me. Motivated by space, I worked and by 2030.9 saved money by riding a bike, living 5) Scientific Knowledge -without air conditioning, and eating Every week I learn something new day-old bread. I got my physics degree via the Lunar Planetary Institute — and a fellowship for grad school. from hidden craters on Earth to what Google “NASA People” to read similar a black hole looks like. Missions to motivational stories.3 other worlds, the Sun, and studies 8) Jobs -- NASA was ranked of exoplanets further help all of us the #1 best agency to work for in the understand and appreciate Earth and 2018 GovLoop survey.4 In 1979, I was the riches space has to offer.10 Marianne Dyson fortunate to become one of only 178 4) Foreign Policy -- If we technical women at Johnson Space can go to the Moon, we can do Center.5 Now, about 18,000 people anything (military or technical). In (30 percent female) work for NASA the 1960s, America used space as a plus 60,000 contractors in eight states foreign policy tool to convince other and DC.6 Though NASA selected 12, countries of our worthiness to lead, some 18,300 people applied for the and our ability to protect them. Space Astronaut Class of 2017. “soft power” ended the Cold War.11
Studies predict a trillion-dollar space market by 2030.
1) Dyson, Marianne. A Passion for Space. Springer, 2015. Page xvi. Posted online: http://www.mariannedyson.com/passion2.html 2) Paul, Annie Murphy. “How the Power of Interest Drives Learning.” KQED News. Nov. 4, 2013. Online: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/32503/how-the-power-of-interest-drives-learning 3) NASA People. Accessed 6-10-19. Online: https://www.nasa.gov/ about/people 4) Willis, Maddie. “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government 2018 Awards.” Govloop. December 13, 2018. Posted online: https://www. govloop.com/best-places-work-federal-government-2018-awards/ 5) Dyson, Marianne. A Passion for Space. Springer, 2015. page 40. 6) NASA. “Where We Work.” https://www.nasa.gov/careers/where-wework
7) Doyle, Alison. “Top 15 Kids’ Dream Jobs.” The balance careers. June 2, 2019. Online: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-kidsdream-jobs-2062280 8) NASA JSC. NP-2018-05-010-JSC. JSC Magazine. 2018. Online: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/jsc_magazine_2018.pdf 9) Dyson, Marianne. “Space Business Challenges.” Ad Astra magazine. Winter 2017-18. 10) USRA. Planetary News. Weekly. Online: https://www.lpi.usra. edu/planetary_news/ 11) Dick, Steven J. and Roger D. Launius, editors. Societal Impact of Spaceflight. NASA SP-2007-4801. 2007. Chapter 11 available online: https://history.nasa.gov/sp4801-chapter11.pdf
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Today China is launching more rockets than any other country. They were first to land on the lunar far side. China’s commercial space sector will be worth $120 billion in 2020.12 3) Planetary Defense -- “City-killer” asteroids whizz past Earth almost daily.13 One is almost guaranteed to hit Earth within a few hundred years. A 2019 drill, coordinated by NASA, estimated $73.9 million in damages with 10 million people displaced by a mere 200-foot fragment striking New York City.14 NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex, studying the asteroid Bennu (which has a slight chance of impact in the 2100s) is providing data to devise strategies to defend the planet. Avoiding extinction is, of course, priceless. 2) Spinoffs -- Cordless vacuums, memory foam, and scratch-resistant sunglasses are NASA spinoffs. As a Star Trek fan, DNA Medicine Institute’s tricorder is one of my
favorites. This handheld device has reusable sensors instead of throw-away cartridges. Using optical fluorescence, it efficiently performs a whole host of tests on one drop of blood—perfect for use in space.15 Look for these devices in every ambulance, military unit, and starship soon. 1) Life without Limits -- As Presidential Science Advisor John Marburger said in 2006, “Questions about vision [for space] boil down to whether we want to incorporate the solar system in our economic sphere or not. For a space program to serve national scientific, economic and security interests, we must learn to use what we find in space to create new capabilities, starting with the material and energy resources of the Moon.”16 Learning to live in space using the resources found there will lead to unlimited expansion and growth of human civilization. Realizing a future without limits is the ultimate benefit of the space program to all Americans. RF
Learning to live in space using the resources found there will lead to unlimited expansion and growth of human civilization.
12) Arcesati, Rebecca. “China’s space program is about more than soft power.” Mercator Institute for China Studies. 2-21-2019. Online: https://www.merics.org/en/blog/chinas-space-program-aboutmore-soft-power 13) IAU. Center for Astrophysics, Harvard & Smithsonian. Minor Planet Center. “Asteroid Hazards: The View from Space.” Running Tallies. June, 8, 2019. https://www.minorplanetcenter.net/asteroid_ hazard_videos 14) Center for Near Earth Object Studies. Planetary Defense Conference Exercise – 2019. https://cneos.jpl.nasa.gov/pd/cs/pdc19/
Marianne Dyson is a former flight controller at NASA who is now an award-winning children’s author. Visit her at www. MarianneDyson.com. 15) NASA Spinoff 2013. Health and Medicine, pages 4849. Online: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa. gov/20140000080.pdf 16) Spudis, Paul. The Value of the Moon. Smithsonian Books. 2016. Page 97.
Apollo 8’s transmission of the famous “Earth Rise” photo on Christmas Eve in 1968 inspired Dyson’s lifelong passion for space. Photo credit: NASA.
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We Need to Reduce our Sea of Red Ink Before We Return to the Sea of Tranquility by ROSS MARCHAND
As the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing approaches, was thrown into jeopardy after the cost of key mission equipment politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, DC have allowed lunar ballooned to $45 billion, three times the original estimate. lunacy to trump sober-minded space policy. Because of this history of cost overruns, a 2004 Congressional Calls by the Trump Administration and members of Congress Budget Office study pegged the cost of going back to the Moon for another manned lunar expedition have left the National north of $85 billion (in 2019 dollars). A 2009 committee convened Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) struggling by the Bush Administration found that costs would be a more to come up with a workable plan. And they have left taxpayers manageable $60 billion (in 2019 dollars). At the very least, there wondering how big the blank check will be for the next moon exists around a 50 percent gap between what NASA is reportedly landing. The moon may be shrinking, but the price tag to return requesting from Congress and previous estimates. But maybe, certainly won’t be. lunar landing advocates insist, abstaining from manned missions is The Administration’s original lift-off goal of 2028 has been penny wise and pound foolish. Space exploration is often justified accelerated to 2024, likely requiring the agency to spend billions by pointing to the innovative research supposedly only possible by of dollars more per year in the mad dash to get prepared. Amidst putting people into space. all of the hustle, bustle, and congressional criticism, few have For instance, microgravity makes it easier to enlarge proteins questioned the underlying push to venture back into space. With found in the human body, create intricate 3D models, and use these little obvious benefit and gargantuan models to test out pharmaceuticals. costs, policymakers should take their But in 2016, researchers from the heads out of the clouds and leave University of Bristol discovered There exists around manned exploration exclusively to the that magnetic fields created here on a 50 percent gap between private sector. Earth can have similar benefits to Five decades ago, television microgravity in aiding preliminary what NASA is reportedly viewers from around the world (except requesting from Congress drug research. the USSR) heard the famous “one If anything, the best and previous estimates. small step for man” uttered by the late, “technological transfers” from NASA great Neil Armstrong. His giant leap have come through unmanned, robofor mankind cost American taxpayers centric missions, when researchers around $20 billion in today’s money, while the entire cost of the have to equip probes with state-of-the-art technology that won’t six-series Apollo Program drained federal coffers by more than malfunction when humans aren’t around to fix it. Insulin pumps, $100 billion. for instance, can be reprogrammed without being removed from But America had a space race to win, and despite considerable the body thanks to technology developed on the Mars Viking (and now forgotten) opposition at the time, successive Presidents program in the seventies. But, miniature self-sufficient technology and Congresses insisted on these missions going forward. Since probably wouldn’t have been developed if the mission was manned, the Nixon Administration, cost disease has taken root inside and since humans would be able to collect and analyze samples using surrounding the U.S. government, and a current U.S. mission conventional tools. Sending humans in robots’ stead would also would carry a considerably higher price tag than the Apollo have been far more expensive. Program. Even though NASA’s preliminary cost estimate has yet Maybe, then, costly manned missions aren’t worth it after all. to be disclosed, some reports indicate that the agency will ask for Mankind does seem to have a yearning to explore the cosmos and an additional $40 billion over the next 5 years to facilitate an out- see other worlds, but robots can do just as good of a job (if not of-this-world request. But no matter what figure NASA reports to better) in reporting back to Mother Earth. Humanity can look back the public, taxpayers should take initial estimates with a capsule in gratitude at the Apollo astronauts and the feats they accomplish of salt. 50 years ago. The heavy-lift Space Launch System is tasked with bringing But we needn’t retread their footsteps. The robot age is here, future astronauts to the Moon, but a four-month long audit with a potential to traipse new horizons without a gargantuan conducted last year by the inspector general (IG) found that the taxpayer bill. RF project was nearly three years behind schedule and would cost double the original estimate. Meanwhile, the entire Europa Clipper Ross Marchand is the director of policy for the Taxpayers mission – a promising search for life on Jupiter’s watery moon – Protection Alliance. RIPON FORUM June 2019
News & Events
Hurd Calls on President to Appoint Special Representative to Stop the Flow of Migrants Heading North WASHINGTON, DC – In remarks on Wednesday, June 12th, before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society, U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (TX23) called on the President to appoint a Special Representative to work with the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and to stop the flow of families and unaccompanied children heading north. “You have to imagine,” the Texas lawmaker stated, “how bad is your situation that you would put your child in a coyote’s hand and have them go on a perilous 4,000 mile journey to meet a distant relative somewhere else? That’s how bad the situation is in those countries. So the way we’re
going to solve this long term is we have to address the violence and lack of economic opportunities in those three countries. And the way we do that is to establish a Special Representative for the Golden Triangle – a senior diplomat. “We have a Special Representative dealing with the Taliban in Afghanistan and negotiating there. We should be doing the same thing when it comes to the Northern Triangle. That senior diplomat should be working with those three countries as well as the rest of the western hemisphere, because this is not just a U.S. and Mexico problem. It’s a problem for the entire western hemisphere and
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the entire western hemisphere needs to be engaged.” Hurd represents the 23rd District of Texas, which includes an 820mile stretch of the southern border – more of the border than any other District in Congress. A former intelligence officer who spent nearly a decade working for the CIA, he has made solving the immigration crisis one of his top priorities since his election to the House in 2014, and has put forward a number of commonsense proposals to achieve that goal. In addition to appointing a Special Representative to the Golden Triangle, those proposals also include making sure that those who are applying for asylum actually
need it, and are not using it as an success rate is 100%.” screaming, she’s scared. This village excuse to get into the United States. Noting that smugglers rely on elder picks this little girl up and “Why are they treating cell phones, move people on public hands her to me. I hold her as tight everybody like an asylum seeker?” busses, and operate more or less as I can, and she’s crying, she’s Hurd asked. “Because what’s been out in the open, Hurd also said U.S. upset. Halfway through the trip, she happening is after five days in intelligence agencies need to step in calms down and finally relaxes. We custody, you have somebody that and play a greater role in getting the get to our location, opened the bay came from Tegucigalpa in a room problem under control. doors of the helicopter, and people with 200 people. And those 200 “DHS is not an international start piling off. people start sharing the word, ‘Hey, intelligence organization,” the “I put the little girl down, she say you have a credible fear of going former intelligence officer stated takes a couple of steps, spins around, back home. Then they have to treat matter-of-factly. “They should comes back and gives me the biggest you like an asylum seeker.’ Well, the be collecting and they should be hug I’ve ever gotten in my life. She way the law is written, the person debriefing people who are coming in goes over to the helicopter crew and adjudicating whether someone here illegally to get that information, approaches the guy who she probably should go through the system for and that should be passed to the thought was from outer space, and asylum or not – you can take the NSA, CIA, FBI, in order to do the kisses him on the hand. He pats credibility of the individual into your collection. But ultimately, the CIA her on the head and smiles real big, decision. If 400 gives her a thumbs up. people are using She returns the gesture, the exact same smiles, and then runs “We have a Special Representative story, guess what? away. This little girl’s That’s called a dealing with the Taliban in Afghanistan face is seared into my fabrication.” brain because it’s an and negotiating there. We should be “Last month example. What we did doing the same thing when it comes to alone, 144,000 that day is an example people came in of how the U.S. the Northern Triangle.” and surrendered government is the only U.S. Rep. Will Hurd country in the world to Border Patrol. That’s one month. that has the resources All of last year, and the willingness to we apprehended help people – even if 400,000 people. As of the end of should be working with our allies in they’re 7,000 miles away. May, 491,000 people have been those regions to stop this problem in “The United States of America captured coming into this country. those countries.” is the only country that has achieved Those are insane numbers.” Hurd closed his remarks by its position in the world by what Hurd pointed to the increased recounting an experience he had we have given, not what we have sophistication of human smugglers while serving in the CIA. It was an taken. The only way that we’re going as one of the reasons these numbers experience, he said, which reinforced to continue to keep the position have gotten out of hand. to him the importance of America’s that we’re in is if we continue to “Kingpin human smugglers role as a global leader, and one strengthen our allies, not wreck those have gotten smart and improved which reminds him today why it is relationships. Because all of these their infrastructure to move people important for America to be a good problems that we’re dealing with, we from point A to point B,” he said. “It ally around the world. cannot solve them alone. We need is not easy to get from Tegucigalpa The experience occurred in allies. I think that’s what we learned to El Paso. Before, a trip was taking Pakistan. After a devastating from the celebration at D-Day a about 21 days and costing $7,000. earthquake struck the country in couple of days ago. Strengthening You gave a smuggler $7,000 and you 2005, he was dispatched by helicopter those alliances is the way we’re got three tries. Why were you given to Kashmir to help evacuate a village going to solve these future problems. three tries? Because most of the time that had been destroyed by the quake. That’s the mindset we should be in you were getting caught and being “There was this little girl when it comes to dealing with this deported. Now, with everybody about six or seven years old who problem we have on the border. being accepted as an asylum seeker, lost both her mother and father,” That’s the kind of perspective I’m we’re making the job of the human he recounted. “She sees this going to try to bring.” RF smugglers easier because their whole scene and she’s crying, she’s 30
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Name: Jessica Millan Patterson
Current job: Chairwoman of the California Republican Party
Political role model(s) growing up: I live in Simi Valley in the shadow of the Reagan Library. He was obviously a huge influence, as was Abraham Lincoln. But for me, many of my heroes have been a little more real-life. John Peschong, who at the time was the executive director at the California Republican Party and a big deal at the RNC, was a larger than life figure. As a young staffer, I admired his work ethic and the way he could both manage and lead. But as I’ve grown in politics, I’ve learned that what I admired most about him was his character. He had all the power and respect, but instead of letting that go to his head, he always treated people with respect and took the time to mentor young people like me. He didn’t have to, but he knew people looked up to him and he felt it was important to bring along the next generation if Republicanism was to survive. He’s still a friend and mentor today. Book(s) you’re recommending to friends: “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action,” by Simon Sinek; “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t,” by Jim Collins Issue facing California that no one is talking about: Abuse of power and a lack of accountability in Sacramento. In the past five or so years, we’ve had seven Democrat lawmakers resign in disgrace, as well as the California Democratic Party chair. There have been countless audits of state governmental agencies showing waste, fraud and abuse. The state budget is essentially one big pyramid scheme designed to pad state worker pensions and salaries. The DMV is facing a long list of scandals. Caltrans was forced to campaign on state time to save yet another increase in the state’s gas tax. And the Secretary of State has been unable to competently rollout a simple voter registration program – partially because he is incompetent, and partially because the project was rushed to juice Democrat turnout in 2018. Yet through all of it and countless other examples of dysfunction, rarely is anyone ever held accountable. Top priorities as Republican Party chairwoman heading into next year: Winning elections! We want to make sure we hold all of our legislative and congressional seats, pick up where we can and expand our donor base. Finally, you’re the first woman to head the California GOP. What message does your election send to voters in the state? I’m incredibly proud of our entire Board of Directors at the California Republican Party. Our board is made up of 23 members, over 1/3 of whom are women. We have four Latinos, a Taiwanese immigrant as our Vice Chairman and two openly gay men. Yet, not a single one of us ran on being the first anything. Instead, we ran on the issues that were important to our delegates regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. Having said that, it is a fantastic thing that our board represents the beautiful diversity of California and that the media has taken notice; it shatters the narrative that the Republican Party is only old white males.
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It’s Time to Repair and Modernize America’s Infrastructure.
The National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association strongly believes that the U.S. needs a comprehensive, modern, and realistic plan to overhaul and update its infrastructure. In its policy paper, “Electrifying Our Future: Building America’s 21st Century Infrastructure,” NEMA outlines ways in which resources and technology play a crucial role. For more information, or to download your copy, visit www.nema.org/infrastructure.
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