U.S. President Barack Obama is trying to tamp down an uprising in politically vital Florida against a new strategy for NASA that has rankled space veterans and lawmakers and sparked fears of job losses.
Obama’s decision to kill NASA’s Constellation program to launch astronauts into orbit and return Americans to the moon has prompted soul-searching on whether the United States is prepared to cede a pre-eminent space role to Russia and China.
“As with all great human achievements, our commitment to space must be renewed and encouraged or we will surely be surpassed by other nations who are presently challenging our leadership in space,” Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. Congress from Florida wrote to Obama last week.
Like it or not, the space program has provided “spin-offs” that have improved life on earth. That was true during the moon program in the 1960’s and remains so today. Exporing the solar system around us is important; it’s where we live.
But the space program has been the bête noire of the radical left since the same 1960’s, as I mentioned in Remembering the Anti-Moon Luddites. As with so many other things, Barack Obama is actualising this agenda. The reality is that, these days, being scientific on the left largely amounts to “believing in evolution,” which is, in reality, a religious idea the way it’s presented.
That’s ironic in this case because, during the campaign, Obama promised to make government cool again. No agency has done a better job of that over the years than NASA, even though it, like any other agency, has had its high and low moments. He is at cross-purposes with his own purported objective, and the results will speak for themselves.