In a case of “too little, too late,” Florida Today’s Flame Trench blog reports that the Space Coast Economic Development Commission tried to render CPR to the Obama space plans even as that plan was set to be pulled-off of life support tomorrow afternoon. In a letter to Senator Bill Nelson, the Space Coast EDC tried to make the case that derailing NASA’s human space flight program in favor of a program based around commercial launchers would be better for the space coast’s economy.
One could be forgiven for a shocked reaction to news that some on the Space Coast imagine that the area’s fate would be better with NASA exiting human space flight. But then, we also understand how easy it can be to be caught-up with talk of major expenditures for infrastructure upgrades at Kennedy Space Center; local business leaders would certainly benefit, at least in the short-term, from such upgrades. But in the long-term, it is the workers who will bear the brunt. And with the loss of workers goes the loss of expertise in processing and launching rockets.
It’s all good and well for the Space Coast business groups to ventilate about needed a more diverse economy, but it sure warms the heart to see members of Congress step-up to the plate and put the nation’s long-term well-being ahead of those of shorter-term business interests.
Update: We’re also going to include a link to the Orlando Sentinel’s coverage of the Space Coast EDC’s letter to Senator Nelson. In particular, what grabbed our attention was that the EDC’s letter, supposedly written on behalf of the EDC’s President & CEO Linda Weatherman and Chairman Bill Cunningham, doesn’t appear to be written in the third-person, as one would expect for correspondence from an organization. For example,
The EDC letter aptly begins in the third-person,
“On behalf of the Executive Committee for The EDC of Florida’s Space Coast, we are writing…”
but then the writer lapses into the first-person,
“I do not believe anyone in Brevard doubts your passion and commitment to NASA and its mission.”
to be followed by,
“We at the EDC are ready to work with you…”
We are more than a bit surprised that the Sentinel’s space reporters, Mark Mathews and Bobby Block, did not catch this nor ask the question of from whom is the Space Coast EDC’s letter and whose views does it represent?