The Human Spaceflight Committee, a.k.a. Norm and company, have been handed their piece of real estate and are now fanning out across the country talking to builders. As they start to draw a blueprint for human spaceflight, they will soon find that credit is tight and most of the designs are prefabricated.
And the double-wide is out of the question.
Picking out a front door comes first. The inspector's checklist has already been taped up on it. Norm has been assigned to carry out an evaluation of the status and capabilities of E Street's subdivision. While OMB's budget has set the low ceiling in place, Norm's list of evaluation parameters represents the walls. A single sentence describes the initial effort. However, the real thrust of the checklist is laid out in the other six tasks that follow.
Those next six sentences speak volumes about what lots the transition team have been scouting since the Emperor was sent to the tailor. They have seen the weeds that the pony-tailed engineer planted and that Viceroy Hanley has been unable to cut down. One thing they knew from the start, OMB's mower has been working on the budget cut, right down to the quick, and not even Norm will be able to save his namesake grass from the searing summer sun.
So our new landscape offers little to work with. A quick jog to the toolshed finds some small tools. They could be used to set a foundation, but the going would be slow. In the shed are two handcarts for moving stuff, but certainly not heavy loads. One of them has wheels built in Russia which could fall off at any time.
Norm is also stuck with an old property with little utility value. Six people are living in it, all looking for work, and they have limited transportation. Their lease says they can't be evicted before 2016, and the courts will probably keep them housed until 2020 or later. If Norm can't sell, he will have a hard time coming up with the down payment on the next domicile.
Complicating factors is the front yard junk taking up space on the new lot. A rickety vehicle, an Ares-1, is parked out front. Unless it, too, is cleaned off the property, no new building will be possible.
So, its looking like Norm will be locked in the old house, lacking a down payment, unable to get credit, and facing a costly clean-up of an existing mess on his new property. He, and we, will have to wait for quite some time before we sit on the patio looking out at the Moon, Mars, and beyond.