Lovell: Bail Out NASA, Not Those Wall Street Weasels

CSE PRESS RELEASE

The Coalition for Space Exploration, the leading collaboration of space industry businesses and advocacy groups, announced today the release of a statement by James Lovell, who served as part of the crew of Apollo 8 – the first human voyage to a celestial body in December 1968. Apollo 8’s successful mission to orbit the Moon paved the way for Apollo 11 to realize U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s goal of landing a man on the Moon before the close of the 1960s.

In a recent editorial, Lovell points out that “a recent analysis of the costs of government bailouts due to the housing crisis, the credit crisis and other economic woes tallies up to $8.5 trillion – more than the cost of all U.S. wars, the Louisiana Purchase, the New Deal, the Marshall Plan and NASA space program spending – all combined and adjusted for today’s dollars.

“Why the necessity to bail out these mismanaged, short-sighted industries that are consumer based when a federal agency with strong management and awe-inspiring deliverables finds itself strapped for cash? Today’s NASA is at a crossroads – it is suffering under economic stress, desperate for the necessary funding to continue its magnificent work. It too faces an uncertain funding future tied to 400,000 to 500,000 federal and civil contractor jobs.”

Lovell went on to comment, “NASA can be counted on to confront key issues here on Earth, from global climate change to energy independence to aeronautics research. As has been the case for over 50 years, there’s a payback to the public for investing in your space program.”

Lovell concluded, “It is imperative that NASA receive sufficient funds from the national budget to move on to the next phase of space exploration under the Constellation program. Provided that President-elect Obama holds true on his promise of $2 billion in additional funding for the program, NASA will be able to continue its great work and ensure that hundreds of thousands keep their jobs, allowing the work and dollars for the space program to remain within the U.S. economy. This is not a bailout for the agency, but necessary financing to accomplish all that NASA has been tasked with doing.”

To view Lovell’s complete comments, please view http://www.spacecoalition.com/Published_Op-Eds.cfm.