RV-103.com has posted Obama’s April 15th Speech at Kennedy Space Center, a good analysis of the April 15th Obama space speech at Kennedy Space Center.
He rightfully notes that in the 6 years since President Bush announced the end of the Shuttle Program, NASA, its workers, and its contractors have had quite a bit of time to prepare for The End. It is part of the Congressional record that the Shuttle could continue to fly safely since all have plenty of life left on their airframes, according to Shuttle Program manager John Shannon. From our perspective, the issue is one of money and national priority; it is unclear whether Congress is willing to spend $2.5B to maintain our nation’s independent human access to space.
The real money quote from RV103 is, “Criticizing Obama’s new policy for NASA and our country is not about the Shuttle Program, but about our nation’s Human Space Flight Program overall. Constellation was to be the successor. A program that would have taken us beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO), back to the Moon to learn to live on another world and develop new technologies, while providing our nation with a new ship that was designed to transport our astronauts for the next 30-40 years. Now, for the second time in our nation’s history, we are throwing away the Moon and for the first time in 50 years we are throwing away our Human Space Flight Program and our leadership in space exploration and technology.”
That is the key issue we also have with the Obama space plan(s).
Fortunately, for those who are working to keep Constellation alive, the President’s space plans seem to be about as popular after his April 15th speech as they were before; that is, toxic.
RV103 does note that the President was not exactly a Profile in Courage in his Kennedy Space Center trip. “Obama started out his day visiting the KSC area by avoiding the workers. Though NASA and United Space Alliance had sent down word that no personal opinions of the employees would be allowed (also no twitter, Facebook, or talking with the media) or tolerated, many of the workers, from what I’ve been told, had left their jobs briefly to line the road and express their ‘opinion’ of Obama’s new policy. But Obama the coward took a back route in from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to get to his teleprompter at the Operations and Checkout Building many miles away from the workers.”
RV103 brings to his views of the space program a background of real work over many years on the space program.