Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Reduction in NASA's budget could prolong the gap in human spaceflight after the shuttle retires."

From Astronomy Magazine
Proposed cuts to the NASA budget could prolong the gap in manned spaceflight capability from 2010, when the shuttle program is slated to end, to 2014, when NASA had planned to start operating a new launch system, according to NASA chief administrator Michael Griffin.

"The FY07 appropriations, if enacted as the House has resolved, will jeopardize our ability to transition safely and efficiently from the Shuttle to the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle," Griffin said at a press conference February 6. "It will have serious effects on people, projects, and programs this year and for the longer term."

This really REALLY cheeses me off.
The benefits society receives from the space program are myriad.
On top of that, our Turkey in Chief encourages and challenges the space program to achieve higher goals, to return to the moon, and to send a manned mission to Mars with one hand and cuts NASA's funding with the other.
NASA's funding is already less than 1% of the national budget for crying out loud! We spend NASA's budget every three weeks with our ill-founded and costly war in Iraq. How does the Turkey in Chief expect his challenges and goals to be fulfilled on an already tightened budget, let alone one that will be stretched further if the FY07 budget is enacted as stated?
Our society advanced more during and because of the original space race of the 1960s than at any other time, and we have reason to believe our society will again advance at a rapid rate if the space program is properly funded and motivated.
The cost of our misadventure in Iraq is already in excess of $360 trillion dollars. NASA's annual budget is less than $16 billion. Think of the advances in science, health care, computer technology and material productions that could have been made (not to mention the thousands of lives saved) if that $360+ trillion had been spent in a more productive manner.

Shame on us for having been seduced by the dark side...twice.

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