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Neil Armstrong on Obama’s NASA


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Tammy Bruce:

I don’t necessarily trust any bureaucracy to do anything beyond getting itself paid. And I don’t know enough about the NASA situation to weigh in with great clarity. But it’s significant when someone like Neil Armstrong, who has historically stayed out of the spotlight and might even be described as reclusive, feels compelled to make a public condemnation using the strongest possible words.

Armstrong, who commanded the historic Apollo 11 moon landing mission in July 1969, criticized what he billed as an air of secrecy that preceded Obama’s February announcement which cancelled NASA’s Constellation program aiming for the moon. That plan, he told a Senate subcommittee, was a surprise to many among NASA, academia and the military.

“A plan that was invisible to so many was likely contrived by a very small group in secret who persuaded the President that this was a unique opportunity to put his stamp on a new and innovative program,” Armstrong, 79, said in a statement to a Senate subcommittee reviewing NASA’s new space plan. “I believe the President was poorly advised”…

Armstrong and fellow Apollo astronauts Jim Lovell (Apollo 13 commander) and Eugene Cernan, who commanded Apollo 17 and was the last man to walk on the moon, have publicly denounced NASA’s new space exploration plan. They called it “devastating” in a statement sent to the media last month.

Cernan also spoke before the Senate subcommittee.

“We (Armstrong, Lovell and myself) have come to the unanimous conclusion that this budget proposal presents no challenges, has no focus, and in fact is a blueprint for a mission to ‘nowhere,’” Cernan said in a statement.

Armstrong and Lovell and Cernan are among the luminaries of NASA’s history, and are presumably above petty political maneuvering and bureaucratic sniping. The scenario described reeks of what seems to be Obama’s style: Commands and micromanagement from elite, isolated, self-assured, ignorant leadership, turning a deaf ear to the real world and its inhabitants.

(By the way, it’s fair to be suspicious of knee-jerk NASA boosters as well, who may likewise not care whether NASA gets results, as long as money is spent in their districts. But, as I say, Armstrong and Lovell and Cernan don’t fall into that category.)

I recall a certain “Star Trek” contingent that welcomed Obama as one of their own. Even I felt that Obama was geeky enough to sincerely believe in the space program, and that it would perhaps be well-tended on his watch. But, no, NASA seems to be merely another aspect of America that must be diminished.
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