Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Neil Armstrong Hammers Obama: A 'Long Downhill Slide to Mediocrity'

What these astronauts fail to realize is Barack Obama's plans just aren't by happenstance, they're by design. He hates the fact that America is the leader in anything, let alone in space. The guy will spend trillions to wreck our healthcare system and throw a few billion to NASA and call it some grand achievement.
The first man to walk on the moon blasted President Barack Obama’s decision to cancel NASA’s back-to-the-moon program on Tuesday, saying that the move is “devastating” to America’s space effort.

Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong’s open letter was also signed by Apollo 17 commander Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon; and Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell, who is marking the 40th anniversary of his famous lunar non-landing this week.

The letter was released to NBC News just two days in advance of Obama’s trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a space policy summit. Obama is expected to flesh out his vision for the space agency's future during his speech at the summit.

The most controversial part of the president's policy is the cancellation of the Constellation program, which was aimed at developing a new generation of Ares rockets and Orion spacecraft to send astronauts into Earth orbit and beyond.

The idea was that such spacecraft would replace NASA's space shuttle fleet, which is to be retired by the end of this year. But acting on the advice of an independent panel, the Obama administration determined that the Constellation program could not fulfill NASA's goals on the required timetable. NASA's budget proposal, released in February, puts the return to the moon on indefinite hold and instead focuses of developing technologies for future exploration.

Canceling Constellation could lead to thousands of layoffs at some of America's biggest aerospace contractors, including Lockheed Martin, the Boeing Co. and ATK. Such job losses are among the factors behind congressional opposition to the cancellation. Armstrong and his fellow astronauts emphasize the bigger implications, however, and say in their letter that the decision would put the nation on a "long downhill slide to mediocrity."

The letter notes that the U.S. space effort will be dependent for years to come on the Russians for transport to the International Space Station, at a cost of more than $50 million per seat.
And just like his many speeches on healthcare when most doctors were ignored in favor of a handpicked audience dressed p in lab coats, Obama will again appear before an adoring audience at NASA.
But the trip became clouded in controversy when Nasa workers who face losing their jobs claimed they were being excluded in favour of a hand picked audience that would give the President a sympathetic hearing.

Thousands of space shuttle engineers and other agency workers staged a weekend rally outside the space centre to protest against the job cuts.

Meanwhile, Senators representing Florida and Texas, where most of Nasa’s workers are employed, have promised to fight Obama’s proposals in Congress.

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