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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Obama's NASA Reaching Out to Muslim World

Iranian Shahab-4 IRBM

Excuse me while I diverge momentarily from the usual purview of this blog to note a major change in the purpose and mission of the world's preeminent space program, NASA. (In fact, it does relate to maritime interests because NASA takes care of our industry's geophysical arrays vis a vis our weather, navigation and defense satellites.)

Speaking to Al Jazeera, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, an Obama appointee, said the following:

"When I became the NASA administrator — or before I became the NASA administrator — he [Obama] charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, [two] he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering."

So, I get it that we're scrapping the Shuttle Program, and canceling the Constellation Program, and I get it that's we're not going to Mars or even the moon (unless we can get there when it's shaped like a crescent), but do we have to all hold hands and sing "We Are The World" at the same time?

I'm all for community organizing the globe but this is ridiculous. Who are we going to have taking care of our GPS, weather and defense satellites? The Chinese? The Russians? The Iranians?

The White House denies this is NASA policy and it denies giving these instructions to Bolden. Last Monday White House Press Secretary Gibbs said: "That was not his task, and that's not the task of NASA."

Yeah, OK. Like he just came out and said that to Al Jazeera all on his own. He made it up.

It's no secret Obama is gutting NASA, and while he has come out in favor of a planned mission to send astronauts to Mars and beyond, he has provided absolutely no funding for the plan.

Two NASA veterans have voiced their criticisms of the Obama space program. Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong and Apollo 17 Commander Eugene A. Cernan dismissed the plan in testimony to the Senate Commerce Committee. "Nowhere do we find a commitment in dollars to support this national endeavor," Cernan said, adding later that "this budget proposal presents no challenges, has no focus, and in fact is a blueprint for a mission to nowhere."


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