Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NASA Tries to Remain Relevant

This is a great picture. I almost don't even have to explain it. It looks as if it could come from the Onion, everyone's favorite satirical newspaper. But of course it is a real picture, of an Astronaut named Rex Walheim modeling NASA's next generation space suit for the new President during the inaugural parade. I believe that if you look close at the picture you will see that President Obama has a sly smirk on his face, which means: "I cannot believe they put a guy marching in a spacesuit in the parade just to get a photo op." Of course that is exactly what they did.

So here is my question, is NASA still relevant? Does NASA still produce enough new scientific information to warrant the governments expense? Don't get me wrong, I love space and other planets and all the jazz. I WANT to live on a moonbase, so I do think that it is essential that we continue to explore space. My question is whether NASA is still a relevant organization for doing so.

There are people in the private sector that are pushing the envelope when it comes to manned space flight. You have Virgin Galactic, and you know when Richard Branson and his billions get behind something, it gets dome. About the only thing NASA has gotten right recently were the Mars Rovers, which admittedly were an amazing success. The designer of those things gets an American Life Gold Star. So is this something that we should had off to the private sector? Maybe we should just use NASA to maintain our military hardware in space. Any thoughts?

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