Atlantis, NASA, and Obama’s ‘long, downhill slide to mediocrity’

July 9, 2011

When OV-104 Atlantis returns from it’s last mission in the coming days it will mark more than just the end of the shuttle program.

It will mark more than just the end of an era.

It will mark the beginning of the disamntling of an infrastructure that took more than half a century to build and provided some of the most advanced technology known to man today.

If an idle mind is a wasted mind, President Obama and his complete lack of vision and courage has just created a wasteland of human capital greater than any President before him.

The thousands of NASA employees now being laid off as the shuttle program ends and the Constellation program being cut off at the knees.

A wasteland of knowledge that once released shall never be recovered.

Obama’s decision to gut manned spaceflight. at NASA may very well go down in history as one of the most bone headed decisions ever made by a sitting President of the United States.

Yes, yes, I know TheCorner is all about fiscal responsibility and spending the taxpayer money wisely.

Yes, yes, I know that NASA had certainly fallen from its glory days of Apollo and the beginning of the Shuttle program.

Yes, yes, I know the shuttles were ancient by today’s technology, expensive to maintain and that Constellation had cost overruns and scheduling issues.

I also know that except perhaps the Manhattan project during WWII there has never been a more concentrated cluster of brainpower than the engineers, physicists and scientists at NASA.

A cluster that thanks to a community organizer’s ineptness will now be scattered to the wind. Their centuries of combined brainpower and skill lost forever.

And yes, I also know that NASA needed some serious housecleaning and re-alignment. Hell after turning 50 don’t we all? But that was no reason for Obama to eviscerate manned space flight.

And this isn’t just a middle aged white guy looking back nostalgic through his rose colored glasses. Here’s what Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Gene Cernan had to say about Obama’s lack of vision:

“…It appears that we will have wasted our current $10-plus billion investment in Constellation and, equally importantly, we will have lost the many years required to recreate the equivalent of what we will have discarded.

For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature. While the President’s plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not be available for many years.

Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity……”

A “long, downhill slide to mediocrity” indeed.  Reading those words, Obama’s entire administration now comes into focus.

But sadly it’s not just the space program Obama is destroying.

Take a look around, unemployment up, gas prices up, food prices up, government debt up.

Every negative one can think of is going up, while every positive is on that one way “slide to mediocrity”.

There was a time in this country when we stood for more than just the buck. When we put our collective brains together and went from drawing board to moon walk in less than a decade.

Those people are still here, that spirit still lives. All that is needed is the leadership and vision to stir it once again. While we know Obama is not that leader, we can still hope and pray for 2012.

The country was warned by this columnist and many others not to fall for his rope-a-dope rhetoric back in 2008. Three years later we are paying the price for not heeding those warnings.

But perhaps the saddest point today is that this nation will be paying that price for many, many years to come.

(Author’s note: Please take a few minutes and read the entire letter from Armstrong, Lovell, and Cernan, it’s well worth it and it just might give you a little more reason to oppose the current Oval Office abomination come 2012.
And if you’ve still the room on your summer reading list, add Cernan’s “Last Man on the Moon” to it. If can’t find a copy, email me, I’ll loan you one. Yes, it’s that good.)

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