Monday, October 6, 2008
The Future of NASA
I was just reading on the New York Times that, from 2010-2015 the United States' space program will now be reliant on the Russians. From what I can gather from the article, and this isn't really surprising to me, George W. Bush made the decision to "86" the shuttles without consulting with the folks at NASA. First off, (and I know the president is above the vice-president) the VP is the head of NASA and secondly, shouldn't we have at least talked to them to see when it would have been feasible?
Currently NASA is in the middle of making plans to get us back to the moon but it seems as though we have another runner-up in the return to space... the Chinese. According to many, China's space program is quickly on the rise. The US is trying to make it back to the moon by 2020 but people think that China is going to get there quicker.
For years the future of this country was in the hands of NASA making a name for the US again. After the landing on the moon, which is still a subject of controversy, we really haven't done a whole lot of anything. With Bush cutting the space program until we get the new launch program "Constellation" off the ground we have to rely on a country who, just a couple of months ago was thought to have been starting the next World War. I don't know about anyone else, but I think that this is going to affect the view that many of our allies, provided we still have any left, have on the United States.
The discontinuance of the current space program is going to cut a lot of jobs in an already struggling economy. The good thing is that both candidates have vowed to get us back to the moon and not leave NASA behind as a thing of the past.
From where I stand, the country is basically screwed even more so than we were when Wall Street took the 700+ point drop a few weeks back. This is a scary time and nothing should be taken for granted. I'm going to advise that everyone live life to the fullest before we don't have a life to live anymore. European markets took a nose dive this morning so it isn't something that's just happening at home. It's a domino effect that can't lead to good things in the future. I suppose that we could look at it this way... after the Great Depression the country rebounded and was stronger than it ever has been, so is that what we need to happen again? I'm not looking forward to the next 5-10 years if the economy stays along its current path...