NASA Chief Tasked with Improving Muslim Relations
NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden was pursuing his prime objective last week when he granted an interview to Islamic TV’s biggest mouthpiece, Al Jazeera. There’s nothing extraordinary about that in itself, but what is extraordinary is what was revealed.
This is the complete Al Jazeera interview. Bolden reveals his new mission within the first minute.
Bolden tells Al Jazeera, NASA’s prime objective is no longer space exploration, but rather social and international relations. Further proof that the President is not serious about space exploration but is serious about reaching out to the Muslim world. The President is so serious about impressing Muslims that he has redirected the SPACE PROGRAM from space exploration to reaching out to Muslims.
Bolden details the mission President Obama gave him, “When I became the NASA administrator — or before I became the NASA administrator — he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering.”
Bolden goes on to point out the significance of his visit to Cairo occurring one year after Obama’s famous apology tour, which he refers to as the Cairo Initiative. When the reporter correctly observes that NASA is being used as a foreign policy tool. Bolden responds, “No, no,no … It is a matter of trying to reach out and get the best of all worlds, if you will, and there is much to be gained by drawing in the contributions that are possible from the Muslim nations.”
Let’s recap NASA’s current mission in order of importance:
- Reach out to the Muslim world
- Expand international relations
- Inspire children to embrace math and science
Mission to Mars – nope. Return to the Moon – nope. Manned missions beyond low Earth orbit – nope.
I listened to the entire interview with great interest. I grew up fascinated with the space program, dreaming of becoming an astronaut. When they killed the moon program I was too young to realize they were killing manned space exploration, but make no mistake, they did.
We now see it is impossible to restart such ambitious ventures. Mostly due to the extraordinary costs associated with them, but also because the American people have forgotten and can no longer grasp the reality of the space dividend.
The space program of the mid-20th century was instrumental in the technology explosion we are all beneficiaries of. Cell phones, satellite TV, the internet, home computers, non-stick frying pans, and the list goes on. The death of real space exploration is the death of rapid technological development. It is because manned space exploration is so difficult that it requires the development of new technologies. These new technologies often have commercial applications. And these commercial applications fuel economic growth and make all our lives easier and more interesting.
If we give up on manned space exploration we are giving up on many things our imaginations have not and may never imagine.