It is a strange old world. About 2 weeks ago I was on a flight from Huntsville, Alabama, where I took part in the National Space Society board meeting, back to Washington, DC where I had some consulting work lined up. As I and two other board members walked to the luggage retrieval area, I commented that if someone had told me twenty years ago I would find three people from my address book on a Presidential Transition Team I would have thought them crazy.
One compatriot said, “You know what that means don’t you?”
“No”, was my puzzled answer.
“You’re now a genuine Washington Insider”, he replied.
I did know one of the Bush 2000 space transition team really well and a second shared many contacts with me. This time around is different. I find it very strange to find people I have known for decades and in two cases worked with for years, in actual position to define space policy for the next four to eight years.
The good news is, they are all good people who are both aware of New Space and who wish it to succeed. At least two of them have tried to work angles to get their own private sector trips into space. What I do not know is how much real influence they will have on globally important issues. I know for a fact all of them are aware of the disaster that is ‘ITAR’, a regime whose purported purpose was to prevent transfer of weapons related knowledge and hardware and whose actual, unintended consequence, has been the creation of competitive non-US space industries. Niches, whether biological or market, will be filled and all the State’s horses and all the State’s men working together can do nought but delay that inevitability.
With Hillary Clinton in State, there is a personal channel of communication available for this issue from within the transition team membership. I very much hope they use it.