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End of an Era - US Gives Up on Space
Does Obama Link with Disney for the Land?
Obama Chooses to Subordinate U.S. in Space
In 1958 my father took a job in a small town on the edge of Lake Okeechobee, Florida to work for a company that was using old technology - very dangerous technology - to create large volumes of hydrogen, capture it and store it in vessels. The hydrogen was then piped across the fence to the neighboring company so once a week or so they could fire off the new engine they were working on - using up an entire week's worth of collected hydrogen in a matter of about two minutes these engines would roar like nothing else. Then, back to work making more hydrogen. The engines built by Pratt & Whitney, and powered by hydrogen from Air Products - both companies manned by a bunch of hillbillies from West Virginia, would become the second stage rocket engines for the Atlas-Centaur rockets - the most powerful ever - eventually pushing men to the moon only a few years down the road. The use of liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen for fuel instead of hydrocarbon (kerosene) fuel increased the punch and improved payload capability by almost double. Cryogenics were a huge improvement that pushed America past the Soviets in the race to the moon. A race they had fallen behind on - as the Soviets had already launched the first rocket to space.
Pioneers In Space, Applications for Everyone
All of the roll-up to the Apollo missions to the moon entailed finding ways to make things happen that needed to happen in a planned, controlled way to get the final job done. There were no miniature computers - most computers were the size of a house in the early '60s. A calculator was as big as a current cash register! There wasn't any Alabama Chrome - "Duct Tape," and we didn't have aluminum foil. The list goes on and on as to what was created as a result of the space race. Millions upon millions of inventions and creations were developed that made our lives today - better. Medical improvements, lights, cameras and world safety all because of the space programs.
Instead of me listing all of the products we use in our everyday lives today that are a result of the space industry, take a more fun moment and go to any one of the interactive websites NASA maintains such as http://www.nasa.gov/topics/nasalife/index.html where you can find a plethora of products. The reason I bring these up is for the people that somehow believe their lives have never benefited from the whole space program. These are tangible, hold in your hand, real products that you probably had no idea were related to the space program.
Big Loss in Military Advantage
When the now forgotten "Cold War" was raging and the Soviet Union was truly working on ways to dominate the West - at least as much as it could - it was the fact that the United States held the upper hand in space that kept them from achieving their goals. Former President Ronald Reagan used the idea of a space based system that could knock out anything the Russians threw at anyone else in the world as a deterrent. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was offered as a change in strategy from the previous Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) mentality.
Now, with our current president determining the best role for the Chief of NASA is to console the international Muslim brotherhood by teaching them about all the great contributions Muslims have made regarding space initiatives, we have given up on our most important defense system. Really? Yes, Really! That alone will require billions of dollars trying to find where it happened. In the meantime, the whole system will whither.
Post Moon Landing
In 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. This was a great human accomplishment by any standard. It did take millions of dollars and millions of man-hours of work and toil to accomplish. Less than 50 pounds of "moon rocks" were brought back from the surface of the moon on that trip - none of which contained any cheese - so at least they busted that one myth.
Upon arriving back on earth, descencion began to increase. Five lunar launches later and the program was dead. Long before that the funding was being cut right and left for more social programs. Tens of thousands of workers at Cape Canaveral and Houston Flight Center and other NASA bases were being laid off. The nation had acheived its stated goal and the interest and money was not there to maintain the program.
Home values in Central Florida plumetted. Unemployment ratcheted up tremendously. Every week, thousands were given pink slips. Many stayed finding much lower paying jobs in non-space related businesses. Some folks retired if they could. The biggest issue was that after stalling a hugh program like the space program, to get it going again was going to take a huge push from somewhere. It was nearly 10 years before the first shuttle mission after the last lunar mission.
So NASA is out to make Muslims feel good about flying carpets contributing to the space industry somehow whilst the rest of the world now has a better shot at dominating space than the United States. We have no means to even enter space at this time. We depend soley on the Russians to get to the space condo we paid most of the construction of. And, sadly, tens of thousands of middle class people in many states that have had solid work and contributed directly and indirectly to improving lives of people around the world, are going to be out of work.
It is truly my hope that the entrepreneurs that have been working for years to provide some kind of private product for space exploration and use can bring the funds and people together to keep something going. Some of them aren't very far from being able to execute - if they can find the money.
There was a recent news story that "Main Street USA" was shut down at Disney near Orlando when President Obama was there to make a speech. The public was informed about his visit but not the depth or purpose of the meeting. Some sources have offered but not been able to confirm that Obama has an interest in helping Disney and his Hollywood friends acquire the Kennedy Space Center as a possible East coast movie backdrop! Please tell me it isn't so.