Few are more qualified to speak about space exploration policy than Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Gene Cernan. Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, and Gene Cernan the last. All three are American heroes. They don’t like what Obama is doing to wreck the space program. In a joint USA Today op ed they write:
But today, America’s leadership in space is slipping. NASA’s human spaceflight program is in substantial disarray with no clear-cut mission in the offing. We will have no rockets to carry humans to low-Earth orbit and beyond for an indeterminate number of years. Congress has mandated the development of rocket launchers and spacecraft to explore the near-solar system beyond Earth orbit. But NASA has not yet announced a convincing strategy for their use. After a half-century of remarkable progress, a coherent plan for maintaining America’s leadership in space exploration is no longer apparent.
For a contrary view, read Rand Simberg today at Pajamas Media. One thing is for sure, commercial ventures won’t be able to put humans beyond low earth orbit anytime soon, if they can even accomplish that “minor” goal.