The first man to walk on the moon has made public a letter in which he rightfully berates president Obama's startling and embarassing lack of national vision in his decision to drastically scale back America's space program. He, along with fellow astronauts James Lovell and Eugene Cernan, signed this letter expressing their disapproval of Obama's weakening of our hard-earned lead in space.
The letter begins with a bit of history,
"The United States entered into the challenge of space exploration under President Eisenhower’s first term, however, it was the Soviet Union who excelled in those early years," the letter begins."Under the bold vision of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and with the overwhelming approval of the American people, we rapidly closed the gap in the final third of the 20th century, and became the world leader in space exploration. ...He then gets to the core of the problem,
"America’s only path to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station will now be subject to an agreement with Russia to purchase space on their Soyuz (at a price of over 50 million dollars per seat with significant increases expected in the near future) until we have the capacity to provide transportation for ourselves. The availability of a commercial transport to orbit as envisioned in the President’s proposal cannot be predicted with any certainty, but is likely to take substantially longer and be more expensive than we would hope."Commander Armstrong isn't alone in his criticism of Obama. Even the Times of London thinks we should have a robust space program. And they're correct. We belong in space.
All of this criticism from former astronauts, not known to seek publicity, seems to have gotten Obama's attention. He's scheduled to speak here in Florida today to outline his new plans for America's space program. We'll see what he proposes, but in light of his overall anti-American sentiments, this blog doesn't expect much.
Perhaps someone will ask him why he thinks it alright to pay Russians to ferry American astronauts to the space Station but not Americans.