beamjockey (beamjockey) wrote,

Rocketry: An Unexpected Sign of Progress

I was reading "New Launch Hoops," an article by Amy Butler in Aviation Week's 17 October 2011 issue. I quote:
The three U.S. agencies responsible for purchasing launches of government payloads into space are agreeing on long-awaited criteria that for the first time pave the way for new rocket companies to penetrate a national security launch sector now dominated by the United Launch Alliance, a Lockheed Martin and Boeing joint venture.

The article went on to describe a "coordinated strategy" signed by three agencies* to streamline the entry of new competitors into the the market for government launches.

In the article, the following people were quoted:

Under Secretary of the Air Force
Principal Deputy Director of the National Reconnaissance Office
Deputy Administrator of NASA
President of SpaceX

Suddenly I realized that all of them are women.

The U.S. has jumped through a few hoops itself, if we have arrived at a point where women simultaneously occupy three such government positions; the majority of their predecessors must surely have been male.

Or rather than "arrived at," I should say, "if we are passing through a point," for there is more progress yet to be made. But it is a small reason to be proud of my country.

*Here's a PDF of "Coordinated Strategy among the United States Air Force, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for New Entrant Launch Vehicle Certification."
Tags: nasa, politics, space
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