Nine years ago, the United States sent the last US astronauts into orbit. Former President Barack Obama had effectively killed the US space program (NASA), and it had been on life support until President Trump took office in 2016. On Saturday May 30, 2020 millions of Americans in Florida and all over America watched a very historic flight as Space X’s “Falcon 9” rocket ship blasted off at 3:22pm, with two American astronauts aboard, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. The rocket ship took off from Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39A, the same spot the Apollo and space shuttle missions took off from, on it’s way to the Interplanetary Space Station. Another first for America, this mission relied heavily on a commercial company and not just NASA.
A startup company by the name of Space X, had come on the scene, developing new types of rockets back in 2002. It’s eccentric owner, Elon Musk would become well-known for his new and sporty car called Tesla. Musk had a goal of reducing space transportation costs to enable the colonization of Mars. A couple of monumental goals achieved by Space X is being the first private company to send an unmanned spacecraft to the International Space Station in 2010. Another was being the first private company to launch an object into orbit around the sun.
The payload was a Tesla Roadster convertible with a spaceman dummy at the wheel, which will be flying around in space until who knows when. If there are in fact aliens, or other life forms somewhere out in space, one can only imagine their reaction upon seeing this sight.
When Obama took office in 2008, he began the dismantling and destruction of years of progress made by NASA. Surely, one way to destruct a society is to take away hope. Considering the United States had always been the leader in space exploration, killing NASA would also kill the dreams of which exploration are born.
If there’s anything that speaks to American exceptionalism, its American astronauts exploring other worlds. But, as we now know all too well, Obama bristled at the thought of America being seen as better than the rest of the world. Hence his drive to embarrass America to the rest of the globe for all the evil things we’d done through history. Upon coming into office for his first term, Obama’s presidential commission determined the existing program named Project Constellation, was not worth funding under any reasonable budget. The program was started by President George W. Bush and was underfunded for years. The goal of this program was to ultimately lead us on a mission to Mars. The program would cost $3 billion a year to execute, which was viewed as much too costly for the Obama administration.
Although, secretly giving $150 billion cash to a rogue nation such as Iran, before he left office for good, was a much more fruitful way to spend American taxpayer money. The administration’s response to Project Constellation was to secretly cancel it and not include it in the budget. The typical protocol when making such a decision is to confer with Congress, who was never consulted, and they were furious they weren’t.
In-all-likelihood, if not for Obama, we may have already been well on our way to Mars by now. In January of this year, CEO Elon Musk unveiled the ITS, Interplanetary Transport System. A privately funded launch system which will develop spaceflight technology to be used in a manned interplanetary venture. Space X has announced its plans to replace its existing Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon 2 fleet with “Starship”. The plan is for this enormous rocket ship to be the largest space vehicle ever, along with being fully reusable, and getting us back to the moon and then onto Mars.
As some of our major cities burn in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, there is hope which comes from the stars. There will likely come a day in this century that Americans will be living on a new planet.
God knows we could use a restart.