Independent Voices |

Independent Voices

If I believed that President Bush was sincere in his efforts to expand the space program, I would be behind it 100 percent. Unfortunately, his recent behavior has all the earmarks of election year politics (the immigration proposal, the visit to King’s grave, his State of the Union campaign speech) and this does not appear much different.

With the soaring deficit, he does not have the money to pay for this program, and because of the long-term nature of it, he will never have to actually see it through. The search for signs of intelligent life on Earth continues.

From the time I was a kid, I’ve read science fiction and dreamed of space stations, permanent moon bases and manned trips to Mars.

Watching the first men on the moon was one of the most exciting moments of my life. What a thought! But not now and not for a long time, thanks to our now record $500 billion budget deficit.

Bush seems to think money grows on trees. I see a lot of other problems that need to be taken care of first.

I quote Rev. King: “If our nation can spend $35 billion a year to fight an unjust, evil war in Vietnam and $20 billion to put a man on the moon, it can spend billions of dollars to put God’s children on their two feet right here on earth.”

Also relevant, from the February 2001 Petroleum News: “NASA has been working with Halliburton, Shell and the Los Alamos National Laboratory to identify drilling technologies that might work on Mars.” Can you say “military-industrial complex diversionary boondoggle”?

I think he should have all the funding he desires for this project. And I think he should be the first ex-president to set foot on the moon, with the fervent hope that a base can be established within the next year.

In the meantime he can learn Lunatish, so he can converse with the natives. No, wait ” he’s already fluent. What was I thinking? But seriously, I hope this diverts his attention away from affairs here on Earth, before it’s too late for all of us.

Although I won’t be around when humans first walk on Mars, I hope my grandchildren will see that dream become a reality. But the president’s proposed funding is only pittance “seed money” compared with the enormous eventual cost of the project.

I hope that the great adventure of space exploration will be shared among the nations, and that the heroes of planetary landings will not be labeled American, Chinese or Russian, but will be citizens of a world at peace and in cooperation, not competition, to cross cosmic frontiers.

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