“Half a century ago the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik. We had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs. This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.”
Did you notice he didn’t call it a NASA moment?
Last year Barack Obama cut NASA funding.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong spoke out at the time against the devastating cuts.
The Times Online reported:
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The world’s best-known astronaut, who has traditionally avoided controversy and rarely seeks the limelight despite his feat 41 years ago, warned that Mr Obama risks blasting American space superiority on a “long downhill slide to mediocrity”.
The decision to cancel Constellation, the project to send astronauts to the Moon again by 2020 and Mars by 2030, was “devastating”, Mr Armstrong said in a powerful open letter to the President.
“America’s only path to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station will now be subject to an agreement with Russia to purchase space on their Soyuz – at a price of over $50 million [£32 million] per seat with significant increases expected in the near future – until we have the capacity to provide transportation for ourselves,” he said in the letter, which was also signed by Gene Cernan, the last man on the Moon, and Jim Lovell, commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission in 1970.
Instead of focusing on space, the Obama Administrtation’s NASA plan was to reach out to the Muslim world.
But his speechwriters still thought it would be a good idea to use NASA in his State of the Union Address.
Not so smart.