Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mitchell, Friedman Support Obama Proposal

Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell writes, "Critics should remember that the airline industry arose following the invention of the aircraft a century ago. The emergence of a global space industry can likewise be expected to contribute mightily to the furtherance of space exploration. That is a positive development."

Thanks to Space Politics for the below links.

Apollo 14 astronaut Ed Mitchell writing for EETimes.com endorses President Obama's proposed FY 2011 NASA budget.

The Obama administration, boxed in by a collapsed global economy and corporate excess, has made the correct, albeit unpopular, decision on reinventing the nation's space agency while providing a needed course correction for manned spaceflight. I only wish the President and his advisors hadn't been forced to make their decisions under the present economic circumstances.

I would have preferred that the U.S. attempt to maintain a leading position in returning to the moon, then going to Mars. After spending nearly three decades in low-Earth orbit, it is time to refocus NASA's priorities and get the space agency back on track to explore the solar system.

I'm sure some cheap-shot artist will note that Mitchell gave an interview in 2008 when he claimed that UFOs are real and the government has been covering it up since 1947.

Planetary Society director Louis Friedman writing in the Los Angeles Times denounced the political pandering by certain members of Congress I've criticized in past columns.

It is an old saying in Washington: "The president proposes, but Congress disposes."

Congress may well dispose of the president's plan for NASA, but if all they do is try to protect the special interests of their own congressional districts, then we will again have a human spaceflight program with no rationale except to protect vested interests ...

Special interests are now focused on saving contracts and funding in particular congressional districts. Two examples are GOP Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Sen. Richard C. Shelby of Alabama. They oppose government spending, except when it takes care of the folks at home. Both have called for decreases in the federal budget while seeking continuation of spending on Constellation, even though it is no longer possible to meet its goals.

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