Friday, April 16, 2010

Obama, Space Cadet Class 3

So most of you have no doubt heard about Obama's restructuring of NASA.  If not, here's some background.  There's lots more if you care to look.

From time immemorial until the Renaissance, the nation with the greatest army ruled.  They were the superpower of their day.  The Mongols, Persians, Romans, etc, etc, all maintained empires that far exceeded their national boundaries.  The superiority of their ground forces enabled them to dominate their neighbors.  Sea travel was still difficult and treacherous, and what little naval activity there was generally occurred only close to shore.  This was the way of things for millenia...

Then there was a dramatic change - the nations of Europe gained mastery of the seas.  They could confidently sail to any place on the planet.  And soon their empires spanned the entire globe.  England and Spain were the superpowers of the era, based on their naval power.  This was the way of things for a handful of centuries...

Another dramatic change arose - the mastery of the skies.  Countries such as Japan and Germany had mostly "missed out" on the seafaring colonial era. But now, with their aircraft able to devastate their enemies from on high, they began to build their empires.  The victors in WWII won in large part because they were able to answer this challenge in the air.  Even the great naval battles of the era were mostly won and lost through air power.  The United States and USSR emerged with the superior air capabilities, and became the superpowers of the era.  This was the way of things for decades...

These two superpowers then set forth to conquer the next frontier:  Space.  Both enjoyed successes and suffered failures.  The USSR could not match our efforts in space (such as the shuttle and SDI) and ceased to be a superpower and eventually ceased to be a union at all.  The one who truly masters space will be the next superpower. 


The USA has shown much restraint as a superpower.  We have not invaded unjustly.  We have not domineered over our neighbors.  We have not enslaved our enemies.  We can be trusted with superpower status.  It is not yet known whether the next superpower will behave as responsibly.  President Obama, through his gutting of NASA, is forfeiting much of our advantage in space and thereby ceding future superpower status to an unknown.  Hopefully they will manage that power as judiciously as we have.

As Joe Biden might say, backing down on space explorations is a "Big ******* Deal."

8 comments:

  1. Great Post Innominatus. I think that this is simply one of Obama's schemes to weaken us in the face a international challenges. Of course, he probably considers us a greater threat than any outside force.

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  2. I can only assume that Woodsterman means Big F@#$ing Disaster.

    Another point, as I am sure you are well aware, is the number of household and everyday technologies which were created or refined as a direct result of the space race. Computers, calculators, MRE's, etc. Think of the advances that we've now forfeited to another.

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  3. I wish NASA would take Obama on a one-way trip to an asteroid.

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  4. Great analysis of superpowerdom.

    I'm one of those space dreamers -- I was just a youngster when JFK challenged us, as a nation, to reach for the stars and walk on the moon. And, by God, we did it! And in the process, we came up with all those neat things JB notes, thereby launching us into super-economic-powerdom.

    Being a good little cold-war child who practiced crawling under my desk at school to save me from the atomic bomb, I planned to be either a spy or an astronaut. (No one told me that women couldn't really do those things way back then). I still dream of space travel -- I don't take up much room and I'd be a really good moon explorer. Maybe I could even be a moon spy!

    But, I'm afraid that our Young President has now consigned us not only to non-superpowerdom, but also to being mere hitch-hikers in our own galaxy.

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  5. Obummer should be sent on a one way trip to Mars. It's just more of his evil plan to destroy America!
    Great post, Innominatus.

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  6. Iran has announced they will be ramping up their space program to fill the void, since they have correctly surmised that everything Obama does is amateurish.

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  7. Great post, great comments. The only thing I can add is an echo of "OMG, what ELSE is he gonna mess up?"

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Family-friendly phrasing heartily encouraged.

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