Jack Bonner: A Pivot Back to Manned Space Exploration?

Jack Bonner has long been obsessed with space and space explorations. He grew up watching rocket launches on TV and wanted to become an astronaut. Even if his career took a different path, his love for all things related to space remains strong. This is the reason Jack Bonner A2W wants to share news and opinions about space exploration on his blog – he plans to inspire a new generation of intrepid space travelers and scientists.

Image Source: The Next Web

Except for the International Space Station, human beings have a very limited presence in space. In recent years, NASA has de-emphasized the role of manned missions to outer space, choosing to focus on unmanned missions instead. However, Jack Bonner and other space enthusiasts believe that there is no substitute for the human brain when it comes to making observations and running tests in space. This is why he is cautiously excited about recent government announcements that suggest a shift back to manned space flight.

One such speech, delivered by Vice President Mike Pence, specifically called for NASA to regain the lead in exploring outer space, starting with resuming manned flights to the moon and laying the groundwork for manned explorations of Mars and other parts of the solar system. Doing so, Vice President Pence said, would restore the United States’ primacy among space-faring nations and will kick off research efforts that could develop technologies to improve the quality of life in space as well as on earth.

These statements might sound inspiring. However, Jack Bonner believes that the government has not yet begun these efforts in earnest. While there has been a push in Congress to force NASA into allocating its funds to manned flights, scientists are alarmed that these efforts might affect other NASA initiatives, such as research on climate change and remote imaging of stars, nebulae, and exoplanets.

Image Source: NASA

Jack Bonner A2W also believes that nothing is set in stone unless NASA and other agencies put together a concrete timeline for resuming manned space travel. In addition, recent cuts to NASA’s budget have given scientists reason to be skeptical about the possibility of future exploration with humans. For instance, over $350 million was cut from the budget that supported the Orion spacecraft and the International Space Station.

It is possible that, to save money, the government may ask private operators to step in. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, for instance, has already tested and deployed its Falcon 9 rocket, which can be used more than once. The rocket has been proven capable of deploying satellites into orbit, and it’s not far-fetched that they can also be used to ferry humans to space and back to earth. Thus, Jack Bonner still believes that—budget cuts notwithstanding—there is still reason to be optimistic about the return of manned space travel.