Friday, March 06, 2009

'Man Must Explore'

The Orion spacecraft enters lunar orbitBefore he came to office there was much fretting among space geeks like me about what President Obama would do with the space program, particularly since we are in dire economic times. Would he decide it was better to spend all that NASA money on the Earth? His people were known to be asking NASA scarry questions like, "What if we just explored space with tiny robots?" and, "What if we delayed the Constellation Back-to-the-Moon program for 5 more years?" Various think tanks were helpfully encouraging these kinds of ideas.

But as it turns out the President is gung-ho about the space program and getting back to the Moon as soon as possible. His new budget increases NASA funding by $900 million for 2010 and the stimulus adds another $1 billion.

This is great news for one of the basic things that makes us human: As astronaut Dave Scott said when he planted his booted foot in the lunar dust, "Man must explore." Without it we fester.


Dan said...

Jim, you idealist you. I can tell you my foot would not fester if we were to send tiny robots into space instead of humans.

But, how about this. I propose an imagination tax. That is: a 20% tax on video games to fund the program. To oversimplify, dissaude people from perfecting animated carjacking in favor of imagining the wayoutisphere.

Pleonic said...

If you taxed video games half the money would come from my kids (well, really me). I think the controls for flying the new Orion spacecraft should be patterned after the Wii.