On Friday, TechFreedom filed comments in response to NASA’s request for comments on its “Moon to Mars 50 Objectives.” TechFreedom urged NASA to consider dissenting feedback in the same manner that other federal agencies deal with comments from impacted stakeholders and not to take a narrow approach to the process. Our comments also urge against making science the sole emphasis of the return of humans to the Moon while de-emphasizing the economic benefits to be gained from humans in space. 

“Placing science as the center of human outreach into the solar system is untenable,” said James E. Dunstan, TechFreedom’s General Counsel. “The science objectives dominate everything, and ‘industry’ and ‘economic development’ have been shoved off to the side. Yet one thing that has been clear for many decades is that the lure of scientific discovery alone will never garner sufficient political or public support to result in government appropriations necessary to carry out major exploration projects.”

“A reliance on government-built systems ignores commercial capabilities and risks utter failure,” Dunstan continued. “The objectives don’t reflect reality. They rely almost exclusively on current and future government-built systems, with only marginal input from the commercial sector. This mindset only represents an extremely small part of the overall system that will be called upon to return humans to the Moon.”

“You can’t tweet yourself to Mars,” Dunstan concluded. “That the submission format for these comments is a series of pull-down text boxes suggests that NASA is not interested in detailed, cohesive responses. This mindset is a total departure from NASA at its best. This is why outside input, especially opposing and cautionary voices, should always be welcomed, not stifled or disregarded.”


We can be reached for comment at media@techfreedom.org. Read our related work, including:

About TechFreedom:

TechFreedom is a non-profit, non-partisan technology policy think tank. We work to chart a path forward for policymakers towards a bright future where technology enhances freedom, and freedom enhances technology.