Wednesday, February 03, 2010 blog: To the Moon

Dick McNally, Executive Editor of the wonderful Astronomy Magazine, wrote yesterday on President Obama's proposals regarding NASA:
I’m old enough to remember when, on May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that the United States would land an American on the Moon by the end of the decade. The 1960s were difficult years, with the assassinations of President Kennedy and his brother Robert as well as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The turmoil continued with race riots in many major cities and, of course, a seemingly endless war in Vietnam.

Nonetheless, as President Kennedy had promised, we did manage to land astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon July 20, 1969, nearly 6 months before JFK’s deadline.

Now we have another young president who has declared just the opposite of JFK: We will NOT go to the Moon by the end of the decade. This, when we already have a program under way to accomplish that mission objective, declared by President George W. Bush in 2004. We’ve already spent 6 years in preparation along with several billion dollars, and have launched a prototype of one of the rockets that would get us there.
Read it all here. About the only positive thing I can find in this otherwise terribly short-sighted proposal by the President can be found in the sub-head of another Astronomy news article, also from yesterday:
The president's goal is to eventually make commercially provided services the primary mode of travel for astronauts.
Okay, that's a good thing. After all, thus far NASA has generally been better at hindering private space flight than encouraging it. But "eventually" is the kind of word to stifle dreams. What a message to receive from the first President of the United States who is younger than me!

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

The only thing that will go to the moon is our decifit spending...and eventually our taxes and quite possibly the inflation rate.

'Other than that Mrs.'d you like the play??'