Rocket science!

It is no news, that in my company (Tuparev Technologies) we are very interested in everything related to applied astronomy and space industry. After all, several of my colleagues (including myself) did either study astronomy, or worked as astronomers and published few papers on the subject. And with the MONET project we delivered one of the first robotic observatory control systems. So, now - finally, Bulgaria is joining ESA (European Space Agency) and the first calls for projects are slowly surfacing. Well, "why not try to be part of the European space exploration"? We thought...

We still think, but our enthusiasm cooled down - significantly! To start with, to register a company is an obstacle on its own. First, one is confronted with ESA's very modern web portal - modern,  when it was first created back in 1994, during the times, when there still existed an index of all known to the human kind websites. (They still use HTML tables with the ugly cell borders from the times of AltaVista!!!) The questionary is definitely written by some of the cosmic offsprings of Marquis de Sade. And here it comes - the calls for projects! One needs at leas three PhD's to understand the terrifying slang - Brussels bureaucracy all over again. And for sure at least one of these PhD's must be in economy. To put it straight - I know very well how much resources we need for such software project, but this needs to be explained in a way, that makes zero sense. I am convinced the entire procedure is not here to make it easy to send satellites up around the Earth, but to make the "business case" for feeding a humongous ground personal of otherwise useless accountants. To make my pains unbearable, I am also required to cut a small forest, to make paper out of the trees, and to fill the forms six times, and together with a USB-stick to send them by old good post. Then to scan the receipt from the post, and either fax it, or - hurray! - email it!

If this is a rocket science, I really would like to see NASA and ESA go the way of the dodo. They must be replaced by private, more agile and more accountable enterprises ... in order to continue our space odyssey.