June 21, 1996 in City

Nasa Deserves To Keep Its Space For Space Trip Alice, We’re Goin’ To The Moon!

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Houston, we have a problem.

NASA wants to fund a return trip to the moon but well-intentioned social service advocates want NASA’s gas money. The social services groups have a list of social ills longer than the lunar flight path that all need funding.

But this space trip is different. NASA is willing to travel to the moon in the economy class. It has put the lunar program on a tight budget that is one-third the cost of a space shuttle flight.

Kent Joosten, the study’s director, says, “The ground rules and concern about cost makes this (program) more realistic. It’s much more a businesslike approach than flags and footprints and glory of America.”

Tang, quartz watches, duct tape, weather satellites - the list of technological advances to grow from the space program is endless. And one of NASA’s highest priorities is sharing information. Existing industry gets the benefit of NASA research, and new industries are born - the best social service program our country knows.

Details of NASA’s research are readily available on its internet homepage at http://www.NASA.gov. Its plans to share information with private industry are detailed, as well as an extensive educational program available to K-12 teachers. It includes photographs, satellite maps and e-mail that goes directly to astronauts like Sally Ride.

At its peak, NASA received about 4 cents of every dollar in the federal budget. It now receives about a penny of each budget dollar. Diverting this money to social programs would provide minimal resources and eliminate one of the few government agencies devoted to the future.

We have a chance to rekindle the energy and hope of the Apollo program. When teachers brought their televisions into class so students could watch rockets launch. When families huddled for hours to watch still photographs of the surface of the moon. When we believed a small step for a man could truly be a giant step for mankind.

And we have a government agency with a can-do attitude and a willingness to live within a budget.

Houston, we definitely have a problem. We are beginning to think seriously about sacrificing the future for the present.

, DataTimes MEMO: For opposing view see headline: Tax dollars shouldn’t fuel NASA’s travel

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From both sides

For opposing view see headline: Tax dollars shouldn’t fuel NASA’s travel

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = EDITORIAL, COLUMN - From both sides

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