Thu, Aug 30, 2012
Coalition For Space Exploration Board Member Has A Message For The Candidates
Coalition for Space Exploration Board Member Wayne Hale is calling on the Republican and Democratic candidates for President to make space exploration a top priority, saying to not do so would stagnate America in the 21st century and beyond.
In a op-ed piece appearing on the Huffington Post, Hale said NASA needs not only Presidential advocacy for space exploration, but the budget to back up the rhetoric. He likened space exploration to such historic events as the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, as well as major infrastructure projects like the transcontinental railroad and the Interstate Highway system. He said American leadership in space would create opportunity and bring "new wealth and confidence in the future. Exactly the antidote to the malaise we're steeped in now."
Hale said that, in the 1960s, the Moon was the "signature destination" for the space program. After that, infrastructure was built with no destination in mind. He wrote that what is needed is a combination of infrastructure that can sustain the industry and destination goals that would foster longer-term investments.
But ultimately, Hale wrote, all destinations should be on the list, prioritized by the capabilities of current and developing technology. He says that it will require the efforts of multiple Presidents from both parties to achieve those goals, likening it to the settlement of the American west in the last century.
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