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July 05, 2010

NASA: The Next Generation

Let's face it, you hear about NASA in the news these days and you don't think about moon landings. You're as likely to hear about NASA's global warming studies as you are a shuttle launch, salt evaporation projects as interplanetary probes.

This isn't your father's NASA. This is NASA: The Next Generation, where every bold step is tempered by a nagging shrew with fuzzy feelings and faint fears. No longer do we aim for the stars; the new mission is to aim at petty squabbles right here at home.

Enter Obama:

In the video below, Charles Bolden, head of NASA, tells Al Jazeera that the "foremost" task President Obama has given him is "to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering." Thus, NASA's primary mission is no longer to enhance American science and engineering or to explore space, but to boost the self-esteem of "predominantly Muslim nations."

Exploring space didn't even make the top three things Obama wants Bolden to accomplish. The other two are "re-inspire children to want to get into science and math" and "expand our international relationships,"

Longtime readers know that I am only cool at best toward modern government-funded, government-run space exploration. But this is ridiculous. Let the State Department fret about Muslim self-esteem. State has much greater experience stroking barbarians with inadequacy complexes. If we're going to have a space program, it better be directed at space.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:36 AM

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