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.


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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