The United States is about to become the new Middle Kingdom it seems. Suffering a surfeit of conceit on how everything revolves around the president while closing its eyes to the world around it.
It is recorded in Chinese texts of a great fleet dispatched across the Pacific Ocean that spied North America long before the Vikings and Christopher Columbus crossed the puny Atlantic. And what did the Chinese do with this new discovery? They simply sailed back home and never ventured forth again. The land of China was all they wanted and needed. And that turning inward is what caused China to become a bit player upon the world stage until recent history.
Now we have a president who wants to turn America's gaze inwards. He believes that all of America's energy and capital must be spent creating a utopia. This week down at Kennedy Space Center the President talked a mediocre game of what he wants NASA to do. Instead of going back to the Moon for things like Helium-3 that can make fusion power a reality, he talked of Orion as a lifeboat, of going to an asteroid, and going to Mars. The last two do sound impressive, but when scrutinised they fall apart. An asteroid mission and a mission to Mars will require a large logistics outlay. By skipping going back to the Moon since we have been there, his own words on the matter, he has moved both these missions into the theatre of circus events. Of staged extravaganzas on par with what Khruschev did with the Soviet space program. And most telling of all, with dates like 2015 thrown in the mix it will absolve Obama of taking any responsibility for the failures that may come. Nixon cancelled the last three Apollo missions because they would happen beyond his term of office, he wanted the glory of Apollo as part of his legacy. Obama does not want any part of NASA success as part of his legacy it seems.
I am with Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell, and Gene Cernan in calling President Obama out on this. What he proposes is foolhardy and surrenders the lead America has in space exploration for no observable gain. Alaska is called The Last Frontier. Space is the Great Frontier and President Obama seems to think exploring that frontier is too hard. That we should just stay home.