What can we learn from Mars exploration?
Reading Why Mars? NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration by W. Henry Lambright. He follows the political machinations and budgetary sleight of hand from the first satellites through the Moon missions to current and future exploration of Mars.
Interesting to me is the debate over the pace of innovation: gradual change or punctuated equilibrium? Does one follow the evolution of technology or force the creation of whatever necessary to accomplish a program? (p.54) Related, how focused should a project be without becoming limited in view? (p. 185)
I hadn't heard the phrase "purple pigeon" before. These are projects that have scientific and public interest. Lots of buy-in and support and potential results. (p. 76)
And because I'm fascinated by the concept of empty and non-existent sets, I was pleased by the definition of exobiology: a "discipline without a known subject." (p.82)