What does one tell a little boy who wants to be an Astronaut? What advice should one give to a child whose imagination is fired by thoughts of space travel, exploration, and the challenges of the unknown? Astronaut Dr. Anna Fisher told the young boy to, “Study Russian.”
The United States of America, thanks to President Obama, retired the Shuttle Program last month with the final flight of Discovery and cancelled President George W. Bush’s plans to return to the Moon. Since the United States will have no manned space capabilities until 2021, the young man will need to travel into space with the Russians or the Chinese.
As reported by The Washington Free Beacon,
The Discovery shuttle flew for the last time Tuesday, beginning in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on the back of a 747, looping around the monuments in Washington D.C., and landing in Virginia, where it will ultimately be transferred to the Udvar-Hazy annex of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
In Washington, onlookers left buildings and stood on rooftops to watch the shuttle and its escort circle the city.
Funding for NASA peaked in 1966, and since then Political Correctness has overwhelmed NASA with Obama now turning NASA into an environmentally oriented climate monitoring service to promote Climate Change “science” and evidence to substantiate the need for governmental Cap and Trade taxation and oversight. P. J. O’Rourke commented on the devastating changes in NASA and their future implications for the United States,
But the U.S. space program is short of machinery, muddled about goals, and low in morale. The space shuttle has been retired. Thousands of NASA employees and contractors lost their jobs. We have no way to get a man into space except by asking Vladimir Putin, “Mother Russia, May I?”
The Bush-era Constellation program, with its moon and Mars capabilities, was canceled. Neil Armstrong called the decision “devastating.” The Augustine Commission, an Obama administration panel of scientists, retired astronauts, and aerospace experts chaired by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine, judged Constellation to be hopelessly behind schedule, underfunded, and over budget. I’m glad they didn’t judge me.
The new Space Launch System or SLS, the heavy launch vehicle that will replace Constellation’s Ares I and Ares V rockets, won’t be ready for a manned flight until at least 2021.
A prominent advocate for space exploration was not so pleased, calling Obama’s space policy a “continual disaster.” He said Obama “had a fabulous space platform when he was running for president, then threw it out.” The administration is “eviscerating the Mars program,” “threw away $10 billion in Constellation programs,” had been “promoting commercial stimulation of private space efforts then cut the funding for it.” He summed up Obama space policy as “castration of NASA.”
Barack Obama has suggested that NASA save money by landing on an asteroid instead of returning to the Moon. This is Obama’s way of getting the United States to Mars on the cheap and without much preparation.
There is a problem with Obama’s logic. Even an asteroid the size of Texas would not have enough gravity to allow a spacecraft to land on its surface. MSNBC and other Left Wing sources have extolled the genius of Obama wanting our space explorers to land on an asteroid.
There will be humans in space. For a long time those humans will be transported by Russia and China. The next footprints on the Moon will probably be Chinese.
It is sad and sobering to contemplate how the misguided priorities of our leaders have destroyed much of the human achievement that was gained in space. Scientific progress has been on hold since at least since the onset of the Great Society in 1965 because our politicians have used our nation’s treasure to buy votes rather than to pursue human excellence and the destiny of mankind among the stars.