Why have neither of the current presidential nominees-designate even mentioned the pitiful state of the United States manned space program?
Aerospace is one of the few real hardware industries we have left. It is a source of high-tech, high-paying jobs that boosts the overall technical capabilities of the nation, encourages pure research, engineering, and educational excellence. Yet it has been allowed to wither on the vine while the current administration buys expensive and easily revoked seats for U.S. astronauts on obsolete Russian spacecraft.
The public should demand to know what the candidates intend to do to correct this tragic abandonment of America’s long-standing leadership in manned spaceflight. It is time for new American rockets, spacecraft, and a goal-oriented return to the moon. The current smoke-and-mirrors effort is a pathetic sideshow, without enough funding or hardware to even man-rate the Space Launching System or the Orion spacecraft. If this is not corrected, and soon, the next generation of Americans will have no choice but to continue to play around in earth orbit, the tide pool of what President Kennedy once called the “New Sea” of space.
Edward C. Dempsey