Friday, April 11, 2008

Obama Wants to Kill Space Exploration

It's official (check out this article for a good commentary) -- and sad. It doesn't stop me from supporting him for President (which I do), and i certainly agree that the current state of the space program isn't very inspiring, but putting space exploration completely on hold until "the mission is clearer" makes absolutely no sense -- he's basically arguing that we should stop working on the problem because we don't have a good solution yet. That makes no sense. Space and space exploration is one of the hottest topics in science today, and relegating it to the "not inspiring" category -- by someone who says he's all about inspiration -- seems completely myopic. If he wants inspiration and change in the status quo, he should see NASA and the whole space exploration effort as the perfect opportunity for re-invigoration, not cancellation.

And pitting it against pre-K education programs?? Of course it's going to lose -- another victim of a standard Washington budgeting ploy, by someone who says he wants to change the system. If he compared the budget of the space program with other long-term exploration science goals (things like particle colliders, deep sea exploration, etc.), and then justified his position based on a clear ranking of each of these goals and the overall budget plan for exploration science in general, I would at least respect his decision. Instead, by weaseling out he looks like he's trying to sweep it under the rug like any other politician. And that's just sad.

3 comments:

South Africa Updates said...

Wow. That is uncharacteristically bad logic from Obama. One could just as easily justify the opposite move - taking money away from education and putting it into space exploration - because the "No Child Left Behind Act" isn't doing a good job of educating today's youth.

The "upside" here is that:
a.) This does seem to be election-year posturing. Most of the evidence on Obama's anti-exploration policy comes from stump speeches.
b.) Obama is a politician that seems to respond to grass-roots pressure well. If we have a reasoned argument to make, and make it as concerned citizens, I like our chances changing his mind more than I do the other candidates.

shawndgoldman said...

Um, that last comment was from me... Apparently, my google account nickname was set to a google group I joined (and unsubscribed from) years ago. Weird.

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