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Fraser
2004-Jan-17, 09:54 AM
SUMMARY: In my previous newsletter, I griped about the fact that we Canadians, and in fact the rest of the world aren't able to participate in naming NASA's next set of Mars rovers. Okay, I can understand why; it's a US mission, so only Americans should get to name the little critters. Fine, I'm cool with that. Then I joked that someone should start an International Space Agency.

Mixed in with the "welcome back" email I received on Friday, I received a clever idea from one reader that suggested I start an International Space Agency. Accept people's donations through Paypal or something, and then portion it out to various deserving research institutions, space associations, etc. - anyone who's actually working on space exploration.

Obviously, the first instinct was to reject the idea instantly. Where are the engineers? The astronauts? The paperwork? Isn't what makes a space agency? But then I thought, why not? Isn't that just what NASA does, but on a vastly larger level?

Of course there are a few details (finding worthy recipients, doing the accounting, etc), but it actually sounds like quite a simple thing to put together initially. So let me know what you think? Are you looking for a way to contribute to the exploration of space? Send me your feedback… maybe I'll figure out a way to organize all of us armchair space patrons.

Fraser Cain, Publisher
fraser@universetoday.com

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

Chook
2004-Jan-17, 10:18 AM
Excellent - count me in.

damienpaul
2004-Jan-17, 10:22 AM
Put me in as well, right after the rooster. Seriously this is how we the larger astronomical community can finally 'take charge' or at the very least to have a greater stake in space exploration.

Josh
2004-Jan-18, 05:59 AM
As I'm sure we've discussed before, Fraser, you know I'm there!! I think this is a great idea. Somehow harnessing the best of government and industry and something the space advocates can actually contribute to instead of just hitting their heads against brick walls. Bring ... it ... on.

Tinaa
2004-Jan-18, 05:18 PM
That is a most excellent idea! Me too, what Josh said.

DippyHippy
2004-Jan-19, 12:25 AM
I think it's a good idea too... are you thinking about something like the Planetary Society??

Josh
2004-Jan-19, 01:07 AM
This International Space Agency should be made up of governments that don't have for whatever reason or can't aford their own space agency (similar to ESA). But at the same time getting industry heavily involved. While the governments would be partners in the "agency" the beaurocracy caused by government tender requirements and red tape would be greatly minimised. That way it wouldn't have to be a psace advocacy group but an actual fully operational Space Agency. The type that we all want NASA to be. Run by a board - partner governments each have a board member, the chairperson could rotate among the government members, and other industry partners have members too. This way we can have a space agency that has very real off world goals and the money to make it happen brought in from different countries and sectors.

Chook
2004-Jan-19, 01:23 AM
Please see topic "Cost of Space Exploration" - let all countries share the cost,
in Other Stories for more thoughts on this subject.