The Rabid Conservative

Think Right, Act Right, Be Right.

Obama’s Flip-Flopping on Space Causes US to Cede Leadership

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As we all know, the NASA Space Shuttle program is heading for the mothballs and there is at least a five to seven year gap in the wait before the US has something else to replace the Shuttle, if anything gets funded in the interim.  So in the meantime, we’re gonna be hitching rides on Russian spacecraft for any missions to the International Space Station.

Obama has been of two minds with regards to space.  First, he was against giving money to NASA, mostly because Bush was for it.  Then, as he was on the stump in Florida, he had to circle back and change his policy so as to not anger the thousands of people at Kennedy SC who would lose their jobs as a result of the loss of the Shuttle program.  Obama probably wishes he didn’t say this:

We cannot cede our leadership in space.  That’s why I will help close the gap and ensure that our space program doesn’t suffer when the Shuttle goes out of service by working with Senator Bill Nelson to add at least one additional Space Shuttle flight beyond 2010; by supporting continued funding for NASA; by speeding the development of the Shuttle’s successor; and by making sure that all those who work in the space industry in Florida do not lose their jobs when the Shuttle is retired – because we cannot afford to lose their expertise”

Now, this movie was taken some time ago.  But as of Feb 2, the budget for 2011 cancels the only hopeful program to return the US to space, the Constellation program which would create the Orion and Ares rockets designed to replace the Shuttle.

So, there is no follow-on project for the Shuttle.  So far, he has at least delivered on the funding and planning for the “one more mission”, but that’s not going to really help matters if the Constellation program gets mothballed.

Oh, and about those jobs – well, just released was a news article that estimates that now 23,000 people are expected to lose their jobs once the Shuttle flies it’s last mission – 9,000 in the Space industry, and about 14,000 others from businesses that rely on the existence of the Shuttle work at the Space Center.

And additionally, when the Shuttle lands for the final time – so will our leadership of Space.  We’ve led the space program since the ‘50s when Eisenhower, then Kennedy, then Johnson pushed for dominance into space, beating the Russians to the moon (which they have yet to go there).  And we were supposed to go back, but that plan is shelved, pretty much indefinitely,   NASA will be spending the time looking over computer models and learning lessons – but we won’t have the capability anymore of putting a human into space.  The future of the US space program, at this point, looks pretty bleak.

How’s that hope and change now, good people of Florida?

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Written by The Rabid Conservative

February 28, 2010 at 1:02 am

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