In 2005 President Bush instituted the Constellation Program. This new program set out ambitious objectives for NASA to put people back on the moon by 2020, along with other grand exploration goals (Achenbach). When President Obama took office, he built a new plan for NASA which was placed n the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. President Obama’s plan would change not only NASA’s objectives but also its budget – turning NASA’s sights towards Mars and near-by asteroids (Malik) and increasing its budget nearly 6 billion dollars over the next five years (Foust). This new plan has aroused both praise and criticism from the public and many key politicians and astronauts. Unfortunately there continues to be ample time to debate the subject. Since Congress yet to settle on a 2011 budget, NASA’s new course has not been legislated. Leaving the question wide open for discussion, what course of action for NASA would be most advantageous for the country?
Many are excited for the policy change. NASA administrator Charles Bolden was quoted saying, “The 21st Century course that President Obama has set our agency on will foster new industries that create jobs, pioneer technology innovation, and inspire a new generation of explorers through education—all while continuing our fundamental mission of exploring our home planet and the cosmos.”(Foust) Another reason people are excited for the change is because they had doubts regarding the practicality surrounding the Constellation Program’s goals and deadlines. Many experts estimated that putting another astronaut on the moon would not be viable until 2028, eight years short of the 2020 target date. One expert was quoted saying the problem with the Constellation Program was “that success was not one of the possible outcomes.” (Achenbach).
However not everyone is as thrilled with the cancellation of the Constellation Program. “[President Obama’s new plan for NASA is] bad for the country," Harrison Schmitt, a former astronaut and U.S. Senator, said. (Achenbach). After a recent speech made by Obama, one of the chairmen of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee expressed disappointment in the fact that “the President used this moment only to reflect on NASA’s history, rather than promoting a strong vision for the future of space exploration.”(Foust) Under Obama’s new program, the United States’ Space Program will have to depend completely on foreign countries space shuttles to transport astronauts and cargo to and from orbit until private domestic industries gain the capability to do so. Former astronaut Schmitt commented, "This administration really does not believe in American exceptionalism.” (Achenbach) Kay Bailey Hutchinson, a senator from Texas, also disapproves saying, “America's decades-long dominance of space will finally come to an end.” (Foust)
There are some, however, who are neither side of the argument. Rather they are fighting merely to have the issue resolved. One person in particular is the...