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Something has to go. The nation's budget deficit must be addressed and all "ineffective, outdated, or duplicative programs" must be cut. So we say goodbye to NASA's Constellation Systems Program and 4,600 jobs at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and hello to a 3.5 billion dollar savings to pay for some of the pork allocated this year.

The Constellation Program's mission was to return astronauts to the moon by 2020 and eventually send them to Mars and beyond. But President Obama has different ideas and directions for our space administration. NASA's new emphasis will be on blazing ". . . a new trail of discovery and development."   NASA Administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden said, "We will facilitate the growth of new commercial industries and we will expand our understanding of the earth, our solar system and the universe beyond.” Maybe he should have added, "with our feet firmly planted on the ground."

It all began with a thing called Sputnik 1, launched on October 4, 1957. That launch really started something. I was a sophomore in high school when the realization hit the whole United States that we had been one-upped by the Soviet Union of all things. President Eisenhower was under the gun and forced to put away his five-iron. The attack on Eisenhower came from all sides. America wanted an answer to why Eisenhower was able to free the world from Nazi domination but couldn't protect the universe from a Communist takeover.   Eisenhower's answer came at 10:55 pm on January 31, 1958, when the Juno 1 booster carrying Explorer 1 lifted off the ground from Cape Canaveral, Florida.  

And, on July 29, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law and NASA was born. NASA officially opened its doors on October 1, 1958, less than a year after the launch of Sputnik 1, and the Space Race went into full swing.

So here we are now, fifty years later, and trillions in government debt are forcing the end to this magnificent adventure. I will miss watching as the rockets disappear into the blue from my vantage point in New Smyrna Beach directly across from the Cape. I will miss hearing the sonic boom that always signaled the shuttle's reentry into our atmosphere and always elicited an involuntary sigh of relief.  I will miss the after-shock that rattled my windows and marked the shuttle's safe return and landing from a mission well done. But hopefully in the near future the program will be refunded. Hopefully it will return in full force invigorated and redesigned. And hopefully it will employ all the newest technologies that will propel us well beyond the 21st century.  

To all involved with the Manned Space Flight Program: Thanks for the ride. It is what dreams are made of. And you made it possible. Thanks so much.

Now go to [Link Removed] and sing this week’s song and watch the videos staring the astronauts.

[Link Removed] 

Thanks for reading.


Lexyduck, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.




Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Feb 7, 2010
    • So much good and huge technological and medical advances have come from sending men to the moon – in one way we could argue that in this economic climate sending men to the moon is sheer folly but when man is pushed to the edge of innovation we produce our best work – lots of the advances in medicine have come from NASA research as a by product of seeing the bodies resistance to the weightless atmosphere and the sustained period of time in space.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Feb 7, 2010
    • Sad to see it go.  It will hurt the economy in my area near NASA’s JSC, and personally speaking, family members as well.  So much gov’t waste, but it’s space exploration that must suffer.  Ashame, isn’t it....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Feb 7, 2010
    • But you do realize that with the current administration basiclly scrapping the space program, the candidates in the next election will have a field day promising new and amazing things for space exploration.

      Seems like they could keep NASA well funded if the senate and house would just take a pay cut like the rest of us have.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Feb 7, 2010
    • Thx tulip!  The silver lining shines thru!

      Pay cut for these guys, and pension cuts for the previous bums....then the citizens might begin to believe they care about us, the people.  It might not do much to improve the budget, but it would help with morale.

      Good ideas, Ms. tuliplady!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lexy Duck wrote Feb 8, 2010
    • Good Morning Ladies - What wonderful things were the result of the space program - teflon, tang, super glue, duct or is it duck tape and even the artificial heart. But the first program cuts are always, no matter what administration, the so called “frivolous” programs like Manned Space Flight. Personally I would have rather seen the line Items for Health Care, a new Stimulus and all the pork barrel spending that happened this year removed from the budget first. Then let’s look at what is left and cut programs accordingly. How about you?



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