Friday, April 16, 2010

Obama's Surrender in Space: One Giant Leap Backward for Mankind!

Related: Science Advisor declares "We can't expect to be number one" forever.

America's Astronaut Heroes speak out!

In the clearest sign yet that Obama's plan is to accelerate the decline of America's superpower status, Obama went to the Florida Spacecoast on Thursday to tell NASA employees that he is canceling much of the manned space program including plans to return to the moon. Instead, Obama will shoot for landing on an asteroid. We can only hope he plans to personally undertake the mission.

Obama's action means the U.S. will no longer have the capability to launch men into orbit after the last Space Shuttle launch on September 16, 2010. Instead we will have to depend on the Russians for access to the International Space Station.

The technological advantage that NASA had in the 20th Century and which fueled decades of American economic and technological development will be lost along with 7,000 key jobs in advanced space related fields.

NASA Heroes Speak Out

If you were alive in the 60's and early 70's you likely followed the dazzling heroics of our astronauts who landed on the moon. As a young boy, I went to the homecoming for Neil Armstrong in Wapokoneta, Ohio after he returned from the moon in the Apollo 11 mission where man first walked on the moon. Armstrong,who uttered the now famous line "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind," joined with other Apollo Commanders to condemn Obama's decision:

Open Letter from Apollo Astronauts

...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
"Destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature." Hasn't that been Obama's plan all along?

Apollo 11

How long before this flag is replaced by a Russian or Chinese flag?

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