February 23, 2009
Space Brain Drain in Reverse Ahead?
Candidate Barack Obama promised, if elected, to “delay” NASA’s Constellation program -- its next generation of manned space flight. Will a space brain drain in reverse follow?
As reported on American Thinker last April, the last paragraph of candidate Obama’s 15-page "Plan For Lifetime Success Through Education" reads :
Barack Obama's early education and K-12 plan package costs about $18 billion per year. He will maintain fiscal responsibility and prevent an increase in the deficit by offsetting cuts and revenue sources in other parts of the government. The early education plan will be paid for by delaying the NASA Constellation Program for five years, using purchase cards and negotiating power of the government to reduce costs of standardized procurement, auctioning surplus federal property, and reducing the erroneous payments identified by the Government Accountability Office, and closing the CEO pay deductibility loophole. The rest of the plan will be funded using a small portion of the savings associated with fighting the war in Iraq.
Meanwhile, according to the Times Online , a space race appears to be heating up between India and China.
Back during the space competition between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., both programs received valuable help from former Third Reich rocket scientists, like Wernher von Braun.
The Times Online piece notes:
Indian officials, especially in the military, are also concerned that India lags far behind China, which shot down a satellite in 2007 and completed its first space walk last year.
Richard Fischer Jr, a senior fellow on Asian Military Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Centre, said last week that India needed to review its space programme to confront the military threat from China.
"We have to look forward to China performing military activities from the Moon," he said.
So, let’s piece it together:
(Item) President Obama has vowed not to weaponize space.
(Item) Candidate Obama pledged to delay the Constellation program.
(Item) Brevard County officials met last May to discuss what the future atrophy of NASA would mean to the local economy.
(Item) Employment opportunities for NASA scientists engaged in manned space exploration are not rosy in the U.S.
(Item) Russia continues to have a manned space program, and although it aided India in its fledging space ventures during the Cold War, and carried the first person from India into space in 1984 on a Soyuz vehicle (and plans to carry up another in 2013), Russia continues to offer employment opportunities for its space scientists.
(Item) India may welcome U.S. space expertise.
Therefore, when can we expect one of the big TV networks to run a special entitled “NASA’s Space Brain Drain?"
Prediction: Late '09