H.R. 1962 We, the United States of America, cannot afford to become the biggest Losers in Space! If we allow the Space Shuttle program to close, for a period of at least 5 years (because programs always over-run) we will be completely dependent on Russia and possibly other nations’ space programs. WE will be sending all of our astronauts up using not-American resources, spending our American dollars on not-American space programs, space contractors, space manufacturers, space engineers, etc. Why would we want to do that when we are already struggling to bounce back from our own recession? We will hand out unemployment to thousands of American space workers and space industry contractors and hope that they will survive the next half-decade and come back tomorrow… so to speak. We will hand out millions of dollars to folks not in the United States of America. Other space-loving nations will continue to grow and expand their space capabilities while we fall…. behind…. Where we were once the heros, the leaders, the risk-takers…. we will become the second class coach passengers… and observers… and bystanders. Where has our love of Space, the final frontier gone? Where has our common sense gone….
If it can be done without compromising safety, then we need to carefully consider HR 1962, which would authorize funding to keep the Space Shuttle flying until we can fly in space without it, fly American, that is; eliminating the needy half-decade of foreign dependence.
American money is under the constraints of a very tight budget, true. And yes, there are many many important programs in need of more funding. But we, the United States of America, risk much more than just being the biggest loser in space by not extending our own space program.