Late last month, Representative Bill Posey (R-Florida) wrote an intense letter to President Obama, who is currently preparing to outline the nation’s new Vision for Space Exploration this Thursday. Unnervingly, no one really knows what the President is going to say, except that we know he’s cancelled NASA’s Moon-Mars Constellation Program and the Ares-class of lifting rockets, but he is going to divert more money to the private sector instead. Beyond that is anyone’s guess.
To that end, first-term Congressman Posey took it upon himself to snail-mail Obama and basically accuse him of:
- Being a hypocrite,
- Turning his back on his campaign promises with regard to space exploration,
- Needlessly sacrificing the Shuttle, (a worthy space vehicle according to the Augustine Commission,)
- Relinquishing our space superiority (and national security by extension) to Russia and China,
- Kicking Florida’s already-thrashed employees while they’re down by canceling NASA’s Constellation Program,
- Leaving our own astronauts in the cold by failing to propose or develop a new space vehicle while retiring the Shuttle.
He then asks for an invite to the speech this Thursday to participate. That’s moxie.
On the whole, I really respect Representative Posey’s position, and the letter is definitely worth reading for those interested in the future of our space program. Considering the points the congressman makes, unless Obama can deliver a strong message and instill a firm, clear, and captivating goal for U.S. space exploration, (Mars, asteroids… something exciting,) or unless private spaceflight steps up to the plate, I believe you, Bill.
We just might lose our edge.