Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our Moon Shot Moment?

On May 25th, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden spoke at the Kennedy Center celebration of the 50th anniversary of JFK's "Space Speech" to Congress. His remarks were very short, for what could a man who is charged with dismantling Kennedy's vision say at such an event? Bolden first compares Obama to Kennedy, then said this:
President Obama not only honors the Kennedy space legacy, but also again challenges the nation with his vision for the NEXT ERA of exploration.We stand at a moon shot moment.
How does it honor Kennedy to abandon American leadership in space and cede it to the Russians and Chinese? How does it challenge us to buy rides to the International Space Station from the Russians? I can't conceive of John Kennedy viewing Obama's "vision" as either honoring his legacy or challenging the nation.

Bolden correctly states that we stand at a moon shot moment. As in the 1960's, American leadership in science and technology is under assault. But this time we replace bold action with timid retreat. The "next era" of exploration? That was called Constellation, and was a logical plan for exploring the "Moon, Mars and Beyond". Obama cancelled that.

"We choose not to go to the Moon, because it's not easy - it's too hard. Instead, we choose to make vague references to undefined missions to an asteroid, because this goal is far enough in the future that my administration won't have to actually make any commitments. At the same time, I'll slightly increase the NASA budget to use as a slush fund for Muslim outreach and the indoctrination of our youth."

The only challenge Obama's so-called vision provides is the challenge of keeping your lunch down after hearing it.

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