April 13, 2010

Neil Armstrong is fucking awesome.

Aside from that whole, first-man-to-walk-on-the-moon thing, he also decided to vocalize his thoughts on Obama's new space plans.  Oh, and did I mention that his thoughts are that Obama's space plan sucks serious fucking dick?  (I'm, uh, slightly paraphrasing that ...)

Canceling Constellation could lead to thousands of layoffs at some of America's biggest aerospace contractors, including Lockheed Martin, the Boeing Co. and ATK. Such job losses are among the factors behind congressional opposition to the cancellation. Armstrong and his fellow astronauts emphasize the bigger implications, however, and say in their letter that the decision would put the nation on a "long downhill slide to mediocrity."

 The letter notes that the U.S. space effort will be dependent for years to come on the Russians for transport to the International Space Station, at a cost of more than $50 million per seat.

 NASA is budgeting billions of dollars to support the development of U.S. commercial spaceships that could help fill the gap. The beneficiaries of those billions would include smaller aerospace ventures, such as California-based SpaceX and Virginia-based Orbital Sciences. In their letter, the astronauts say that the availability of such craft "cannot be predicted with any certainty, but is likely to take substantially longer and be more expensive than we would hope."

Armstrong and his colleagues complained that the cancellation would amount to wasting the roughly $10 billion that has been allocated to Constellation over the past five years. "Equally importantly, we will have lost the many years required to re-create the equivalent of what we will have discarded," they wrote.

 "For the United States, the leading spacefaring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second- or even third-rate stature," they said in the letter.

One giant leap for awesomeness, sir.  I salute you.

Posted by: Ember at 09:02 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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