Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
What if the Dell and Apple computer companies announced an "ambitious" plan to produce desktops by 2018 that did what computers could do back in 1969? Then why is everybody going gaga over NASA's announcement that it would do the same with lunar landings? And while research that goes into desktop computers only takes funds from willing consumers, NASA's scheme will cost an "estimated" $104 billion. And you know the value of long-term government estimates. Lost in all the excitement is WHY we would want to do such a thing. The original moonshot was a powerful psychological boost during the Cold War but all we got out of it otherwise was a bunch of rocks. Just how many more moon rocks do we need? They might discover there really is cheese there, but then the dairy lobby would go nuts. Even NASA is at a loss for words for this incredible extravaganza. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin defended it as (I'm not making this up) a jobs program. He noted that it would employ many people along the Gulf Coast devastated by Katrina.
Speaking of which, isn't Pres. Bush looking for $200 billion in cuts from the budget to pay for Katrina recovery? But Griffin has an answer to that. "When you have a hurricane, we don't cancel the Air Force and we don't cancel the Navy. We're not going to cancel NASA," he said. In fact, despite the ongoing war on terrorism (Anybody remember that?) the Air Force and Navy were forced to make major cuts. Katrina? Terror? Name a needy project and it's almost certainly going to be more worthwhile than bringing back more darned rocks. Whatever purpose NASA once served, its main purpose now is self-perpetuation. It IS time to cancel NASA and divide its useful duties among other agencies and the private sector.