NASA’s Constellation Program / Why it should have never been scrapped
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
— President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962
Will the Unites States surrender its leadership role in every conceivable area of importance?
Congress should have demanded the re-authorization of the Constellation Program the moment it was cancelled. It is good that the private sector is getting involved with manned space initiatives, but the NASA manned space programs should have never been allowed to lapse. The Shuttle program should have been extended until a replacement system was ready to fly. And that replacement system should be something similar to the Constellation program which was a heavy lift transportation system that could accommodate: transport to the international space station, the construction of a lunar outpost, and a manned mission to Mars.
Beyond the obvious, of being able to fly ourselves to the Space Station, maintaining the infrastructure and programs necessary for space leadership continuity and maintenance of military, commercial and scientific space projects and research, there are other extremely important reasons why the Constellation program should have been funded.
It is a very sad fact that a history of disastrous policies like this one de-funding our space program has left our nation on the brink of surrendering our super power status. In addition to cutting wasteful spending and pumping up the environment for American business, there are some extremely important actions that must be taken if we are to climb out of this huge economic hole we find ourselves in. We are going to need something like the information age explosion to give our next generation of entrepreneurs and business people something they can latch onto and explosively create the next economic boom cycle. The moon shot program funded the science and provided incentive to turn that science into engineerable technologies like the microprocessor. The moon shot program very well could be the single antecedent to our last great economy.
This could happen again, with innovation providing the business world with the cutting edge tools to allow the next economic up cycle to become an explosive economic boom cycle. The United States is going to need an explosive boom cycle to offset our disastrous economic condition and our huge debt crisis.
The Constellation program, including the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, should have been fully funded and reauthorized for the missions proposed by President Bush. Keep the United States at the forefront of space science and space exploration. Our present and our future depend upon it.