Space is the Place
Readers of World probably know that I dont think that government can do much good except create a level-playing field. Redistribution is wealth-destroying, growth-inhibiting and counterproductive (well that and its theft too). Regulation is futile and only creates legal avoidance of moral business practices. Anti-monopoly only gives aid to those unable to compete. Subsidies for public goods only crowd-out better private goods and more positive spillovers from these private goods. Publically funded research-and-development does nothing but feed the war machine.
But now the dialectic. Maybe at one time there was a role for government in space exploration. However now that it is feasible and proven it's time for those with the big entrepreneurial capital to move right-in. I blogged about this earlier in 2007.
Now too there's a new book on the history of US space research and its roots in German war technology etc., which also shows that yes maybe that while there might have been a public good role for space research at one time, it was done in a typically government fashion.
Space is interesting because there has to be more than humans on earth to consciousness. Space is the place.