Obama Cuts NASA Funding

Feb. 5, 2010

There was a time when Americans had the right stuff and boldly led the world in going where no man had gone before. Apparently, that time has passed. Barack Obama’s 2011 NASA budget request will effectively terminate America’s manned space flight program, leaving space exploration leadership to the Chinese and the Russians.

Obama’s new plans, which laughably claim to be a “bold new approach,” would terminate NASA’s Constellation Program, which would have replaced the retiring Space Shuttles with a new crew vehicle, as well as building the new launchers required to get America back to the moon and on to Mars.

This plan leans heavily on commercial space companies to develop new vehicles to get U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). Although the time frame is left open, it’s certainly not any time soon. In the meantime, the U.S. will pay the Russians for taxi rides to the ISS.

On the other hand, Obama’s plan would expand NASA’s role in earth climate observations, apparently in hopes of further propping up the collapsing global warming fraud. In short, the U.S. is left with no vision, no destination, and no inspiration.

While there are legitimate questions about the federal government’s role in space flight, and we applaud the move to push development of private space enterprises, the U.S. space program, or lack thereof, has national security implications. Apollo and its forerunners were a powerful weapon in the Cold War, and NASA’s technological innovations and considerable world prestige clearly helped to defeat the Soviet Union. What would the impact be on the U.S. if, in the year 2020, we’re treated to beautiful, hi-def images from the moon of Chinese taikonauts at Tranquility Base, kicking down the American flag and replacing it, permanently, with a Chinese flag?

If humanity is going to the stars, however quickly or slowly, shouldn’t Americans be leading the way?

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Current Constellation Engineer said:

Most of us in the Constellation Program are still in shock about the decition to kill our program. Sure we had our problems, but we are human afterall. We were proud to be working on such an exciting program; to go STAY on the moon, to figure out how to live on the moon and in turn how to live on Mars. To figure out how to travel to another planet, and put us there first! We will be truely heartbroken to see China do what we were planing on doing.

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Another NASA employee said:

Assuming that the next President restarts the program in 2013, that is still time (and with it knowledge) lost. I have always believed that America should lead the way in space exploration. I shudder at the thought of commercial space companies developing new vehicles to get the U.S. into space. They haven't done it in the past and I don't think they have the safety record for it. Maybe we can sell all our stuff to China. After all, they own most of the U.S. now.

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 2:14 PM

naleta said:

I find it very disappointing. I was born in 1958 and grew up with NASA producing all sorts of exciting discoveries all the time. I was sure that we'd have people living on the Moon by now. *sigh* It isn't the safety issue that makes me doubt that commercial businesses will develop new space vehicles. It's the lack of an immediate profit to show stockholders. Especially in this high taxation environment that our POTUS is creating.

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Mel Hansen said:

Maybe that is not so bad. We don't need to go to Mars or the Moon. God gave us the earth as a very habitable place. Lets take care of it and enjoy it. God obviously didn't intend for us to live anywhere else, because he didn't make it hospitable to our needs.

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Ken C said:

I too grew up with the space program. I served pizza to Alan Bean (Apollo 12 & Skylab) when I lived in Houston. Living in St. Louis now, I drove to the Kennedy Space Center earlier this year to watch the Ares I-X launch. I'm trying like mad to get down to watch one of the last shuttle launches this year. My heart goes out to all who will be affected by this asinine decision (those who currently work in the space program as well as those who cater to us tourists). I was surprised (in a good way) by the number of foreigners who were touring Kennedy when I was there. Many, many dollars spent that will likely be drying up now. How many jobs will TRULY be affected by the cut in funding? There are those who feel that this has all been a big waste of money and would rather see the funding go to more entitlements. We as a nation are certainly richer for having invested in manned space exploration to this point. It truly saddens me to think that this may be coming to an end for now (hopefully only temporarily).

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Ken C said:

Mel -So we aren't supposed to be at the top of the tallest mountains because the air is too thin for most everyone and we aren't supposed to explore the oceans because we have lungs instead of gills?I certainly expect your opinion. My belief is that God set man apart from all others of his Earthly creation and gave us the curiosity, the drive and the intelligence to explore and "subdue" his creation. Space exploration is the ultimate (and unforgiving) challenge for mankind and my belief is that, one day, space travel will become as ubiquitous as cross-country travel.

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 5:36 PM

W. Leather said:

The moon also promises a potential solution to our energy needs (IE: Helium 3/Fusion). Exploration, national security concerns, advancing technology and energy concerns would more than suggest we continue with a manned colonization program. Apparently, the Obama administration is just giving lip-service to potential alternative energy sources.

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 5:36 PM

kev said:

Didn't that little country...umm, err...Iran...just launch a satellite? Seems a bit ill advised to abandon our program at this time. But then I bow to obama's superior knowledge in matters of the defense of our country.

Friday, February 5, 2010 at 10:36 PM

anthony said:

This decision i agree with. Space must not be monopolized. It creates a greater risk to our national security.

Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 2:29 AM

shari said:

How sad it is to watch Obama kill the space program in lieu of the global warming farce. It seems indicative of him and his administration to take this country to new lows. It saddens me to watch this happen during my generation, and I only hope that my children will have a better place to live, but I highly doubt it. By the time Obama and liberals get done "governing" the country, there will be nothing left, except a hugh debt to the Chinese. I'm waiting for the day that the Chinese call in the debt. Then what happens? Do we then become a Chinese occupied nation?

Saturday, February 6, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Joey1058 said:

All I can think of is that JFK rolled over in his grave on this decision. Who the heck is auditing Washington DC, if they think there is no budget for NASA? Outside of a HUGE US military presence, NASA is one of the few prominent civilian agencies with any global respect. And now it's just been castrated. Why do we pay taxes, again?

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Ileana said:

Why do we pay taxes? So that politicians can live on the dole for the rest of their lives, in comfort that average U.S. citizens cannot afford, so that the president and his wife can have servants and protection for life and a Cinderella existence, so we can support the U.N. and every country on the planet in need, so we can wage wars at a drop of a hat, feed the hungry of the world who stab us in the back, save countries from foreign occupiers, etc.We cannot even begin to appreciate how much NASA research has done for us so far, how many products that we take for granted today are the result of R & D at NASA.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Tony said:

shari -What makes you think the Chinese aren't already collecting their pound of flesh on our debt? They may have told Obama to stand down so as they would have an unobstructive path to the Moon & beyond or they would stop funding our debt. Why engage in a race when you can clear the field and ensure that the prize will be yours.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 11:47 PM

BrianK in Northwest Arkansas said:

kev: My sarcasm detector is a little rusty, so I'll just assume you were being a bit snarky with that last sentence.anthony: What makes you think we're monopolizing space? Futhermore, as far as our national security, if other countries have a presence in space, and we do not, that would make us LESS secure, by any logic I am aware of.

Monday, February 8, 2010 at 5:43 PM

Anton D Rehling in Olympia, WA said:

NOW This, when is enough, enough?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 3:09 AM