Neil Armstrong: USA to Become Second or Third Rate Power

April 14, 2010 at 08:41 (General Stupidity, News)

This was a given when Obama was elected. A national space program requires pride in your nation. He doesn’t seem to have any. It also demonstrates the capabilities of the nation and gives the world something to look up at – Obama doesn’t want those for us either. He wants, like the Soviets did, to smear the entire world into one bland color of mediocrity, where the only ones with power or comfort or wealth, are the people like himself who he considers to be the elite.

On the other hand, and this will never happen because the government, especially under Obama, would never relax the regulations enough to really let it take off, it would be nice to see the commercial world get into the space business. Long term, it’s a money maker. And the government has never been good at efficiency.

“When President Obama recently released his budget for NASA, he proposed a slight increase in total funding, substantial research and technology development, an extension of the International Space Station operation until 2020, long range planning for a new but undefined heavy lift rocket and significant funding for the development of commercial access to low earth orbit.

“Although some of these proposals have merit, the accompanying decision to cancel the Constellation program, its Ares 1 and Ares V rockets, and the Orion spacecraft, is devastating.

“America’s only path to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station will now be subject to an agreement with Russia to purchase space on their Soyuz (at a price of over 50 million dollars per seat with significant increases expected in the near future) until we have the capacity to provide transportation for ourselves. The availability of a commercial transport to orbit as envisioned in the President’s proposal cannot be predicted with any certainty, but is likely to take substantially longer and be more expensive than we would hope.

“It appears that we will have wasted our current ten plus billion dollar investment in Constellation and, equally importantly, we will have lost the many years required to recreate the equivalent of what we will have discarded.

For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature. While the President’s plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not be available for many years.

Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity. America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space. If it does, we should institute a program which will give us the very best chance of achieving that goal.

Neil Armstrong

Commander, Apollo 11

James Lovell

Commander, Apollo 13

Eugene Cernan

Commander, Apollo 17

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