February 05, 2010

Nasa gets Sliced.


Well, it looks like we won't be going back to the Moon, or get to Mars anytime soon. Old picture like the one above will be the only memory of our former achievements with no really noteworthy memories to add.

pResident Obama(POH), with all of his infinite wisdom has cut funding for the Constellation program and almost other programs designed to get the U.S. back to space in any meaningful way. He seems to want to change Nasa's role from being a space agency to one of being a climate research agency. (despite recent revelations that show a great deal of the climate change "emergency" is based on outright fraudulent manipulation of data.)

I have great reservation on taking this tack. It's good that private enterprise will now have a greater chance to allow the free market to do it's magic in space exploration, BUT, like any gigantic enterprise of man, sometimes government does have a major role in advancing a goal.

Space was a Geopolitical tool that could be used to great effect in international relations. The national prestige garnered was more than worth the cost of the program. I can still remember that moment in 1969 when Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on another world. I remember the pride we felt as a nation that AMERICA was the nation that could dare to be great; that we as a people could dream big and then achieve that dream. We have lost that inspiration, we no longer even try to dream the dream. Just think what it will feel like when a Chinese Astronaut takes down that flag planted by Armstrong and replaces it with the Red Star. I believe it might be time to start learning Chinese so that we can communicate with the new world leader, for a country that can't dream big and, more importantly, achieve great goals cannot maintain a position of leadership for long.

Some people always questioned the cost of the Space program, saying that that money could be better spent in another "social justice" type program for people here on Earth...and yes, the costs of space research ARE high...

I would propose they think about it in an another way by posing this challenge:

Name ONE major scientific breakthrough in the last thirty years that didn't come about either directly, or as a side benefit, from the Space program.

A great many things that we take for granted would never have been developed without that impetus. The computer I'm posting this from probably wouldn't exist today without NASA's research leading the way. That cell phone you love to hate? Totally dependent on space technology.
Manufacturing (new techniques, materials), Medicine (technology and basic research of the functions of the human body), and Science (need I really show examples?) have all made quantum leaps forward because we had the Big Dream and the will to pursue it.

The only hope for continued progress now is that private industry will have the will to do what what we as a nation do not.

It WILL do so, as long as the government doesn't get in the way, but from the actions the pResident has taken so far (that hinders the private sector), that might be a faint hope.

Posted by Delftsman3 at February 5, 2010 01:33 PM | TrackBack

real shame is Nixon gutting the program because he hated JFK. if we had stayed the course then we might have colonies there now.

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