(Thumbnail image: NASA)

 

Kennedy: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth."

It's been 37 years since man last set foot on the moon--and we might not be back in the near future. The Constellation program, a manned space initiative begun during the Bush administration, would be canceled under President Obama's 2011 budget plan for being "over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation."

The proposal, while praised by some policy and technology analysts, has others in the space program howling.

We're looking at perspectives from CNN, Fox News, BBC News and The Atlantic.

On Fox News, former astronaut and last man on the moon Gene Cernan criticized Obama fiercely for his decision.

Cernan: "We don't have enough time to talk about how disappointed I am, and actually angry. The President has turned his back on a future, on an investment in the future of this country, our leadership and the world and on our kids. Because I think education is a spin-off of this program that is significant and cannot be ignored."

But the BBC News pointed out that funding cuts for space would leave money for other government programs, including education.

Anchor: "There will be winners too. Education would get more money under the president's plans, and he wants more investment in green technology, spending the White House hopes would produce jobs."

On CNN, stimulus analyst Josh Levs explored just how much of the money already spent on the Constellation program would be wasted.

Levs: "They've [NASA] gotten a lot of funding. They had 557 million dollars in funding from the stimulus, and about half of it, so about a quarter billion dollars, spent on the Constellation program that has now been scrapped under the President's new budget, at least, the proposed budget, it would be scrapped. So one thing we're looking at now is is this a big waste? And what we're hearing from NASA, as they talk about this, they're saying, 'you know a lot of the technology that's been built will still be used.' So it's not just a complete waste.

And Derek Thompson, technology editor for The Atlantic, bluntly refuted claims that the United States would lose its honor along with the manned space program, saying,

It's [sic] does not make sense to spend money on "wonder and glory" without any practical benefit."

So is Obama right in wanting to turn out the lights on the Constellation program? Or is manned space flight a bright star in the US economy?

Obama Proposes NASA Funding Cuts

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Feb 2, 2010

Obama Proposes NASA Funding Cuts

(Thumbnail image: NASA)

 

Kennedy: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth."

It's been 37 years since man last set foot on the moon--and we might not be back in the near future. The Constellation program, a manned space initiative begun during the Bush administration, would be canceled under President Obama's 2011 budget plan for being "over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation."

The proposal, while praised by some policy and technology analysts, has others in the space program howling.

We're looking at perspectives from CNN, Fox News, BBC News and The Atlantic.

On Fox News, former astronaut and last man on the moon Gene Cernan criticized Obama fiercely for his decision.

Cernan: "We don't have enough time to talk about how disappointed I am, and actually angry. The President has turned his back on a future, on an investment in the future of this country, our leadership and the world and on our kids. Because I think education is a spin-off of this program that is significant and cannot be ignored."

But the BBC News pointed out that funding cuts for space would leave money for other government programs, including education.

Anchor: "There will be winners too. Education would get more money under the president's plans, and he wants more investment in green technology, spending the White House hopes would produce jobs."

On CNN, stimulus analyst Josh Levs explored just how much of the money already spent on the Constellation program would be wasted.

Levs: "They've [NASA] gotten a lot of funding. They had 557 million dollars in funding from the stimulus, and about half of it, so about a quarter billion dollars, spent on the Constellation program that has now been scrapped under the President's new budget, at least, the proposed budget, it would be scrapped. So one thing we're looking at now is is this a big waste? And what we're hearing from NASA, as they talk about this, they're saying, 'you know a lot of the technology that's been built will still be used.' So it's not just a complete waste.

And Derek Thompson, technology editor for The Atlantic, bluntly refuted claims that the United States would lose its honor along with the manned space program, saying,

It's [sic] does not make sense to spend money on "wonder and glory" without any practical benefit."

So is Obama right in wanting to turn out the lights on the Constellation program? Or is manned space flight a bright star in the US economy?

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