President Barack Obama, ever ready to indulge in proving his tech savvy, had a Reddit conversation. When the question of NASA funding came up, the president proved his political savvy by giving a political non-answer answer.
The question posed was, “Are you considering increasing funds to the space program?”
The answer was, “Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level – so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.”
As some of the other participants complained, the answer did not actually address the question. Obama simply restated his own policy. He also showed more than a little shamelessness by invoking the name of Neil Armstrong, the recently departed first man to walk on the moon. It was shameless because Armstrong was a fierce opponent of Obama’s space policy that abandoned a return to the moon and corrupted commercial space with Solyndra-style subsidies.
Armstrong is conveniently no longer with us to offer a retort to the president’s hijacking of his good name. But over two years ago, along with fellow Apollo astronauts Gene Cernan and Jim Lovell, he offered a letter explaining exactly what he thought about the president’s space policy.
“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. America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space. If it does, we should institute a program which will give us the very best chance of achieving that goal. “
That is as eloquent a rebuke to the president and his space policy as there ever could be.