Monday, March 16, 2009

Is Inspiration Without A Destination Morally Repugnant?

In An Astronaut's Letter to President Obama: Six Space Policy Musts, Tom Jones writes as the last of his Space Policy must-
Inspire the Next Generation of Space Explorers
Look our young people in the eye and tell them that we need explorers—doers—who are citizens of the most forward-looking nation on Earth. Tell them America is signing up a world-beating corps of talented scientists and engineers and turning them loose to explore the asteroids, the moon, and the solar system. That same team can conquer terrestrial challenges in energy, defense, environmental protection and high-tech competition. Generations of Americans found prosperity and forged our nation's future on the frontier. Mr. President, reignite the excitement generated by those epic Apollo voyages. Launch our future explorers to prove themselves at the frontiers of space.

I find this morally repugnant. Since NASA has no intent give our children a future by "turning them loose to explore the asteroids, the Moon, and the solar system." NASA intends to spend several hundred billion dollars to camp on the Moon for a few years then abandon it to go on a few Mars Missions. No plans for settlement anywhere. No plans to let more than a hand full of people ever go. No plans to go to the asteroids or anywhere else in the solar system expect the Moon and Mars. It is cruel to suggest anyone has a real chance of going into space through NASA. Because they don't. If NASA wants to use space to inspire our children to study math and science then we must give them a future in space. Otherwise NASA is simply guilty of child abuse.

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