Today President Obama called for an end to NASA’s Moon Program and to stop development of the Constellation’s Ares I rocket. Here are some pros and cons as I see them:
- By abandoning the Ares program now, $9 billion in development and research will be lost from over the past four years, not to mention the $2.5 billion dollars that the tax payers will have to shell out in cancelled contracts with Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
- This gamble might not even make it past congress since the President is asking for more funding for NASA in a time when many see government spending as out of control.
- If this plan is initiated, privately held companies will take over and develop technologies related to space travel and rocket engines, meaning that NASA, who has developed such systems for over fifty years will be handing over the reins to a company that has substantially less experience in such fields.
- What is the ultimate direction of this drastic plan. President Obama has made no indications of what direction NASA is to take after these systems are developed. A mission to Mars? Back to the Moon?
- This could re-invigorate a space program that has lain dormant for almost forty years, and spark the development of new technologies by replacing old technological feet’s from the 1960’s.
- Increase in NASA funding from $18.7 this year to $19 billion next year, and finally to $21 billion in 2015.
- Multiple countries would share costs.
- Less pollution as manned vehicles will be able to re-fuel in orbit.