President Obama’s proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2011 eliminates funding for NASA’s Constellation program, which was touted as the agency’s road map to future manned spaceflights, and would have included the first manned Moon mission since the end of the Apollo program in the early 1970s. Is Obama’s proposed cancellation of Constellation a good thing, or a bad thing?
Did you ever think you’d live to see the day when George W. Bush was willing to spend more money on the space program than his super-liberal successor? I didn’t. And as a stuffed dog, I plan on living a long, long time. I recall feeling sort of cheated a few years ago when Bush announced the goal of returning to the Moon “sometime in the next, oh, let’s say twenty years, or something” (I believe that to be an exact quote). The men and women of the ‘60s got not one but two stirring John Kennedy speeches that echo still down the canyon of history, and we got Texas George’s Stragety for Space.
But then Obama comes along and cans the whole program! What twisted funhouse mirror alternate universe have I fallen into? Making things even weirder, Mark Levin was on the radio last night (Steve has a really bad habit of listening to right-wing talk radio all day. You cannot get away from it. Trust me.) ranting about Obama cutting funding for the Constellation program. Mark Levin! Complaining about a Democrat president not spending money on NASA! Can you blame me for feeling a little untethered here?
On the bright side, the new budget does dole out $6 billion over the next five years to NASA, which isn’t exactly chump change. It won’t buy a Moon landing any time soon, but it’ll keep things humming until someone comes along with the guts to give NASA the funding to actually, you know, do something.
Until then, I’ve at least got the first Chinese man on the Moon to look forward to.
Being a success in this shitty world means striking when the iron is hot. And as far as the space program goes, the iron has never been hotter. Behold, the proposal that will shortly render me the world’s wealthiest synthetic canine (that money I loaned Ashley that she never paid back will be pocket change!), my plans for America’s return to the Moon!
I know lots of NASA people read Steve’s blog (mostly for my articles, though I hardly ever mention it because it sounds cocky), so if any of you guys are interested in more details about Toby Benson’s Moon Shuttle, get in touch with me. We’ll talk business.
And yes, I can bring this puppy in for right around $6 billion. Gentlemen, we can build it. We have the technology.