(Page 2 of 13)
Mr. Babbin’s August 1 article on our floundering space program is spot on! I used to be fascinated by the Shuttle and the space station — now I am sick to death of hearing about them, especially the oh-so-fragile ceramic tiles. I wish both of these turkeys could be shut down and replaced with something else.
Every time NASA’s manned program messes up, it provides ammunition for the America-hating progressive types who don’t want us to have any people in space at all. They cite various reasons, of course. Oh, the program is so expensive — though it is microscopic compared to so-called “social spending” on the federal, state, and local levels. The real reason, I suspect is that it makes America look good (when it works) and we mustn’t have that.
The American space program went into a blind alley after Apollo. If Bush ever gets his new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), based on updated Apollo technology, it will be what we should have been doing 30 years ago.
NASA has made some really stupid decisions since Apollo — for example, it originally wanted all flights to be aboard the shuttles, and was even throwing out the old expendable rockets (sorry, “launch vehicles”). When the Challenger blew up, we had only a handful of expendable rockets left. I remember especially one ailing spy satellite they had to nurse along until new rockets came on line.
On the other hand, NASA has had some stupid policies forced on it by others. It originally wanted a smaller, simpler space plane that would have been fully re-usable. You would use expendable boosters to launch the heavy stuff, then the astronauts would go out and assemble it. In a penny-wise, pound-foolish decision, the government told NASA to do something cheaper. NASA had to go to Defense and other places to ask for further support and money, but they gave it only after insisting on many changes. For example, the Shuttle had to be greatly enlarged, to carry Defense’s spy satellites. That’s how we got a huge, fragile space truck, instead of a souped-up version of the old X-15. It’s a good instance of how a camel is a horse designed by a committee.p>Thirty wasted years. At least the space probe missions to other planets are a resounding success. br> —
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online