© Miri WTPOTUS July 30, 2012
While the Democrats and the Obama campaign falsely accuse Mitt Romney of outsourcing jobs while at Bain Capital, they seem to forget all about Obama’s largest outsourcing accomplishment: The U. S. space program.
Obama gutted NASA. Our astronauts now ride on Russian shuttles.
Ticket price? $63 million per trip. Privately owned spacecraft deliver our supplies. The price so far? About $3.5 billion for 40 tons of payload. (No savings for the U.S. taxpayer there.) A story from October 2010 warned:
Communities along Florida’s Space Coast, built on the optimism and industry of the space program, are in economic peril. The area’s 12 percent unemployment rate—2½ points higher than the national average—is expected to rise to 15 percent over the next year, mostly as a result of the space industry contraction. Meanwhile, as America dithers, Russia, China, India, and other countries are expanding their shares of the space market.
In the U.S., entire towns that once relied on the space industry are decimated. Not only federal employees and contractors have lost their jobs (over 40,000 in 2011) but many others have also lost jobs from businesses like restaurants and shopping malls. The US lost more, however:
There will be no more heroic astronauts. Analysts argue that putting humans in space is risky, extraordinarily expensive, and not very productive from a scientific point of view. They’re right about that. They’re wrong, however, when they sneer at the prestige of manned space flight. “Our space program was about American pride and exceptionalism,” said Victor Dahlquist of the Kennedy Space Center. “Some of us actually liked that dream.”
Yes, we did; but some of us did not. Therein lies the tale. Obama sneers at American pride and exceptionalism. This we know.
Outsourcing the space program is also dangerous because
The Chinese apparently want to go to the moon to convince us of their dominance. And dominant they will be when they militarize the moon. China military expert Richard Fisher points out that Beijing is building an “Earth-moon space infrastructure” for offensive military purposes. China is going to the moon for many reasons — to garner prestige, to mine helium-3, to spur technology — but the one that should concern us most is that the People’s Liberation Army wants to grab the high ground of space.
From the moon, the Chinese military can control access to deep space. A moon base, for instance, will allow the PLA to observe American satellites and possibly destroy them. That’s especially true if the Chinese also have the only space station in orbit. And once China blinds our satellites — something it tried to do a half decade ago with lasers — the American homeland will be wide open to attack. As Fisher told me, “a nuclear Pearl Harbor is possible.”
But some simply do not care about America’s prestige, exceptionalism, heroism, or national security. Some would rather cede space to the communists. Or even to friendlier Asian countries.
Finally, the United States will lose out on scientific breakthroughs and inventions that come from having a viable space program. The space program has already led to the development of MRI machines, smoke detectors, laser technology, neuromuscular stimulation, ocular screening, ergonomic furniture and shoes, water purification techniques, memory foam, fire-resistant fabrics, solar-simulating lights,
Photos courtesy of NASA.