The “last flight” of the Space Shuttle Discovery, bolted to the top of its Boeing 747 carrier, around the skies of Washington D.C. before being sent off to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, Virginia, was, as usual, spectacular — but in many observers’ minds, it symbolized more than just the end of the Shuttle program.
Media reports quoted an optimistic museum director Gen. John R. “Jack” Dailey said that “We pledge to take care of her forever. The shuttle will show young visitors what America is capable of.”
Actually, Gen. Daily was being more than optimistic. He should have said that the shuttle display will show what America was capable of.
For, despite grand announcements to the contrary, it seems increasingly possible that the end of the shuttle program might very well be the end of the US Space Program.
Back in the 1990s, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) drew up plans to replace the Space Shuttle fleet (which in turn were first conceptualized as the Apollo program was coming to an end in the 1960s) with a human spaceflight initiative known as the Constellation Program (called CxP for short).
CxP was to send astronauts to the International Space Station, then to the Moon, Mars and other deep space destinations, using new powerful booster stages and capsules.
For this purpose, two new launch vehicles were commissioned, the Ares I for crew launches, and the larger Ares V for unmanned cargo launches.
Both rockets were safer than the Space Shuttle, and would have utilized technologies developed for the Apollo program.
In addition, the CxP program planned for a new crew capsule called Orion, and a new lunar lander called Altair.
However, before becoming president, Barack Obama called for a halt to the CxP program, in favor of diverting cash to education projects instead.
This was the first sign that all was not going to go according to plan with the space program—and sure enough, when president, Obama announced CxP’s cancellation.
Instead, a new project, called the Space Launch System, or SLS, was announced by the Obama administration. In essence, this plan cancelled the major components of CxP and laid out a design for the transformation of the Ares I and Ares V rockets into a single launch vehicle.
The first mission of the SLS will supposedly take place in 2017, and a manned moon trip is supposedly planned for 2025.
However—and this is the catch—the costs are likely to make this mission very difficult to achieve if not impossible.
After all, the US government has better things to spend its tax revenue on, like fighting pointless and ridiculous wars in the Middle East, foreign aid to nations who hate America’s guts, and, of course, supplying welfare to the ever-growing Third World population inside the US.
For example, during the joint Senate-NASA presentation in September 2011, it was stated that the SLS program has a projected development cost of $18 billion by 2017. All experts dismissed this idea, with an unofficial NASA estimate putting the cost close to $41 billion by 2025, and the last and biggest component of the rocket system to only be ready by 2030.
All of these projects are supposed to be built by private companies, with NASA only “hiring” trips on them in the same way that really rich people can “hire” trips on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
In the interim, of course, the US has, for the first time since the early 1960s, no manned space launch vehicles. It is an astonishing comedown for a nation which, 40 years ago, landed men on the moon with systems that had less computing power than a basic entry-level electronic calculator of today.
Some prominent observers have already glimpsed what lays ahead:
“When President Obama recently released his budget for NASA, he proposed a slight increase in total funding…the accompanying decision to cancel the Constellation program, its Ares 1 and Ares V rockets, and the Orion spacecraft, is devastating.”—Neil Armstrong, commander of Apollo 11.
“It appears that we will have wasted our current ten plus billion dollar investment in Constellation and, equally importantly, we will have lost the many years required to recreate the equivalent of what we will have discarded.”—Jim Lovell, commander of Apollo 13.
“For The United States, the leading space faring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate stature. While the President’s plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not be available for many years.”—Eugene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17.
So will NASA be able to get into deep space again?
There are enough clever people in the US still to engineer and create the program.
However, the exploding Third World population is devouring the state’s resources while simultaneously reducing its taxation base, and thus as economic pressures increase, the funding required seems to be further and further away.
Finally, with whites destined to slip into full minority status in the US by 2040, it seems increasingly unlikely that the aggregate of really clever people (always a tiny minority of the population, as T Lothrop Stoddard pointed out in his book The Revolt against Civilization) the stage might well be reached within the next two decades where the program is abandoned.
This is a logical development of the Third World-isation of the US. If the replacement Third World population cannot even maintain a city such as Detroit, how on earth would they be expected to keep spaceships flying to Mars?
The moon landing in 1969 might then very well have been the apogee of the US’s space program. And of Western Civilization.