Letter: President Fails To See Job Value of Space

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Former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin wrote a scathing commentary piece concerning the lack of support for the Space Launch System from the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama [“Let the Games Begin,” Commentary, Aug. 29, page 19]. Mr. Griffin explained how it was the initial desire of the administration to sideline the space program in order to fund other initiatives. This idea was apparently downplayed to not detract from support during the election, but a clear pattern of foot-dragging since then is evident.

Why doesn’t this president realize that America needs to create jobs doing inspirational things? He is so focused on regular jobs he apparently doesn’t realize that these big goal-oriented programs create a multitude of smaller, regular jobs. Think of all the lost manufacturing jobs, cleaning crews and security staff if a NASA facility ramps down.

Why would a kid struggle to learn math and science if there wasn’t anything he or she could do with that knowledge? Big Science can be an economic driver as it leads to new products and creates many indirect jobs (i.e., scientists and engineers love coffee and clean commodes, and new research facilities will need new roads and houses).

It’s a shame that in this respect the administration is really missing the boat. Our cost of living and labor rates are way too high here to compete with China in manufacturing known goods. We can only get back on top by innovating and developing new resources first. But what are we doing in the new frontier, hitching a ride? Come on now! America is throwing away its opportunities to |be great and settling for |mediocrity.

 

Hartley Saunders II

Forestville , Md.