You Must Have Balance
The main character in Ben Bova’s Mars books is Jamie Waterman. Jamie is Navajo and due to his grandfather’s influence, he has a healthy dose of Navajo mysticism flowing through him. One of the lessons Grandfather Al imparts on Jamie is the need to maintain balance. It seems as if our wonderful US space program is working towards the same goal. On the wrong end of the scale!
On the eve of the launch of one of the greatest pieces of astronomical hardware ever and on the heels of a string of scientific and media successes with the Mars program, we get this juicy tidbit floating around the mainstream media (MSM):
Precede that with the loss of the new climate orbiter last week and I can already here the cat calls:
Why are we spending money on that stuff?!
NASA is a waste!
Blah, blah, blah!
Let’s remind the public again: the entire NASA budget is about 1/2 of 1% of the federal bankroll! Crumbs compared to a lot of other programs! (BTW, I love this poster: http://www.wallstats.com/poster/)
Now would be a good time for the Obama team to announce the selection of a new administrator. Strike while the iron is hot and NASA is on the brains of the America public. Appointing a new and dynamic leader NOW will help to get the juices going within the organization. It will also let Americans know that someone has the definitive task of bringing our space program back on track. I know the President is busy and we have some big issues to tackle, but don’t let the space program fade from view.
P.S. Bonus points to those that can name the constellation in the graphic!