President Barack Obama has stalled America’s space program by delaying NASA’s mission to land humans on Mars, according to a scathing report by Nature News.
“A crewed Mars mission remains two decades away,” Alexandra Witze, a columnist at the science magazine Nature, wrote in Nature News. “Its schedule is constrained by the funding available to develop the necessary hardware — a new heavy-lift rocket and crew capsule to sustain astronauts in deep space.”
“That is almost exactly the situation NASA was in eight years ago, bar one detail: Obama ditched the Moon as a first stop for astronauts on their way to Mars,” she wrote.
Witze reports Obama sidelined NASA’s plans to send astronauts to Mars in favor of having the space agency capture and redirect an asteroid into orbit around Earth.
“Obama cancelled the Constellation programme, which his predecessor George W. Bush created to send US astronauts back to the Moon in preparation for an eventual Mars trip,” Witze wrote. “Two months later Obama announced a different course: astronauts would visit a yet-to-be-chosen asteroid before heading off to the red planet. The White House did not consult Congress on the switch.”
Many scientists have been critical of Obama’s space priorities. Dr. Richard Binzel, a planetary scientist who studies asteroids at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presented a scathing take-down of Obama’s Asteroid Redirect Mission. Binzel said it was a “dead end,” “not a science mission,” and that it would destroy NASA’s Planetary Science Division.
Obama has expanded funding for global warming science over space exploration during his tenure. Obama even siphoned funding from NASA’s mission to search for life on Jupiter’s moon Europa to pay for more global warming research.
NASA’s budget includes more than $2 billion for its Earth Science Mission Directorate that does global warming science. That spending is specifically allocated to improve climate modeling, weather prediction and natural hazard mitigation, but increasingly scientists have admitted climate models are inaccurate when checked against actual temperature observations.
Spending on NASA’s Earth Science Mission Directorate has increased by 63 percent over the last eight years, while the space agency’s overall budget grew only by 10.6 percent — just enough to account for inflation.
NASA said in its budget justification in February that the top scientific question the space agency wants to answer is “How are Earth’s climate and the environment changing?” The more typical space questions, such as “Are we alone?” and “How does the universe work?,” were at the very bottom of the list.
Even global warming alarmist Bill Nye the “Science Guy,” who’s also the CEO of the Planetary Society, has criticized Obama’s attempts to cut NASA’s space exploration and planetary science programs in favor of global warming. NASA’s planetary science program has previously held car washes and bake sales to gain political support to maintain funding.
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