It was a long road back to space.
On July 20, 1969, an audience of 500 million people watched a man set foot on the surface of the moon and plant an American flag in the gray powder of the Sea of Tranquility.
In July 2010, NASA chief Charles Bolden, an Obama appointee, told Al Jazeera that his boss had given him three priorities… none of them involving space exploration. The foremost priority for the agency once tasked with sending a man to the moon was “to reach out to the Muslim world… to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.”
As far back as 2007, Obama had called for delaying the Constellation program, which would have replaced the space shuttles, for five years in order to pay for his education program. He was the only major candidate to do so.
Once he got into office, the delay became a full-fledged cancellation.
In 2008, Obama hypocritically blasted the Bush Administration for allowing “a five-year gap after the retirement of the Space Shuttle” during which time “the United States will have to depend on foreign rockets and spacecraft to send Americans to orbit”.
Obama claimed that he wanted to retain a working space shuttle. In office however he scrapped the shuttles leaving the United States wholly dependent on Russian Soyuz rockets. Around the time that Bolden was telling America that we would not go to the moon, his skeleton of a space agency, now concerned with Muslim outreach and Global Warming, was paying the Russian space agency $424 million for six Soyuz seats.
During Obama’s first year in office, economic aid to Pakistan nearly tripled to $1.3 billion. While Obama could find no room in his budget request for the Constellation space program, a year after the Bin Laden raid, which caught Pakistan harboring America’s greatest enemy, the 2012 budget requested $3 billion in aid for Pakistan.
Bush cut economic aid to Egypt. Obama increased it. Foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority shot up from $414 million to $980 million in 2009. Due to the various funding mechanisms, including through a dedicated UN agency, that amount is not even close to the full sum.
The US stake in the IMF tripled to $165 billion. US contributions to the UN passed $6 billion; a 50 percent increase.
By 2011, total foreign aid spending had increased by 80% from $11.4 billion to $20 billion. In 2010, Neil Armstrong had sent in written testimony to a Congressional hearing stating that budget reductions for the Constellation program totaled $20 billion.
But we’re back on the road now.
Read the full story from Front Page Mag
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