Space, still the next frontier

Nick Wakeman

For this issue, I interviewed science-fiction writer Ray Bradbury. At 85, he's lost none of his enthusiasm and optimism for the future of science and technology as well as for humankind. For Bradbury, space is not a business opportunity, but destiny. He feels we have to return to the moon and beyond. Without that continual push for exploration, humankind will cease to exist. Our thirst for immortality is what drives our desire to explore space. You can read more of Bradbury's views in "Last Byte," on page 30.

But for an immediate take on space issues, turn to our cover story. Staff Writer Roseanne Gerin explores the three main drivers behind today's space opportunities: NASA's initiative to return to the moon, the Defense Department's reliance on space-based communications and intelligence systems, and the growing sophistication of weather satellites. Over the next five years, these projects will create billions of dollars in business for systems integrators and other IT companies.

Also in this issue, Staff Writer Alice Lipowicz examines what is happening with the Homeland Security Department's Secure Border initiative and what issues are influencing that project to link video cameras and other sensors along the U.S. and Canadian borders. And in our state and local section, Staff Writer Ethan Butterfield looks at Virginia's outsourcing contracts and how that state has managed to move ahead while other states have failed utterly.

Although 2005 is winding down, the news in government IT isn't. We consider that an indication of the industry's enthusiasm and optimism, and we revel in it.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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