By Michael Fumento
The Obama administration is killing Constellation, NASA’s ambitious back-to-the moon program, The Washington Post reports. Although in the overall scheme of things the moon program wasn’t that big of contributor to deficit spending (when it comes to that, just keep thinking “entitlements, entitlements, entitlements”) it is needless.
Yes, I know a lot of people out there are really fascinated by space travel in any form. And a lot of people want to attack Obama for absolutely anything, when there are so many good things to go after him for.
“The president’s proposed NASA budget begins the death march for the future of U.S. human spaceflight,” Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) said. “If this budget is enacted, NASA will no longer be an agency of innovation and hard science. It will be the agency of pipe dreams and fairy tales.”
Rep. Pete Olson (R-Tex.) said, “This is a crippling blow to America’s human spaceflight program.”
Baloney. There are tons of worthy space projects that will go untouched, and the next goal for manned space travel should be a place we haven’t been before - namely Mars.
Fact is, the most important aspect of the original Apollo program was to demoralize the Soviets during the Cold War - just as they demoralized us with Sputnik. No, we really didn’t learn that much from the incredibly expensive undertaking. And despite the urban legend, neither Velcro nor Teflon came out of the program. Neither did Tang - although it’s probably true for those horrible “space food sticks.”
The best response to the inexplicable desire to go back to the moon and collect more rocks, other than we can’t afford it, is “Been there, done that.”