Outgoing President Barack Obama again reminded of how began his reign when, in 2010, has set NASA the goal to reach Mars. But now it looks more like the desire to leave behind at least some good memories. One problem – Obama’s rhetoric directly contradicts the financial steps of the American authorities.
That should be the concern of President Obama when he was up to leaving the White house remains less than a month? Maybe the failure of American policy in the middle East, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, the actual return of the cold war in relations with Russia, which gave the conservatives to accuse him of spinelessness and weakness? Maybe the condition is still not fully recovered from the economic crisis of the United States, the aggravation of racial tensions or problems of illegal immigration in the United States? Not at all.
“Under Obama, NASA’s budget has steadily declined”
It seems that Obama is much more concerned about the destiny of mankind, than his country. How else to explain that one of his last public appearances, and made in the form of an article-an editorial on the CNN website, he dedicated the upcoming fly U.S. astronauts to Mars. In it he listed the benefits of space exploration to America and the world, not forgetting to stress that such a rosy vision for the future of our civilization beyond the atmosphere is possible only if the American space leadership.
In the words of Obama’s much correct, but, as noted by one of the leading American experts in the field of space policy John Logsdon, “if they have something new, it is only for the uninformed”. “This re-drawing attention to the goals that he has set and towards which NASA’s already working”, he added.
Recall that on 15 April 2010 Obama gave a speech at the Space center Kennedy, in which he voiced the need for the development by 2015 of a new heavy media (and subsequent construction), a manned mission to a nearby-to-Earth asteroid by 2025, and then manned orbital mission to Mars in the mid 2030-ies. To facilitate the achievement of these objectives, he promised to increase the Agency’s budget by $ 6 billion up to 2015.
However, NASA’s budget increase failed. On the contrary, almost all the years of the Obama presidency he steadily declined. Despite this, the Agency really began to consistently work on a manned mission to Mars and to Mars by putting roughly the following terms: in 2033, the astronauts have to reach Phobos, and in 2039 for the first time to set foot on the red planet. In the year 2043 on Mars to land on the second expedition.
Not to say that the American space community there is no consensus on the strategic goals of the America beyond earth orbit. A number of experts, including Scott pace, former associate administrator of NASA during the presidency of George W. Bush and now head of the space policy Institute in Washington, believes that a return to the moon as more justified from a commercial point of view, and in terms of international cooperation.
There are those who believe that before Mars, NASA would have to “practice” on Venus, making there a space mission, especially as the Morning star almost a third closer to the Earth than the Red planet. And NASA, by the way, is already developing a similar version within the project HAVOC.
That NASA felt a surge of “passionarity”, having moved the Agency towards the far space, there are, of course, much of the credit Obama. Is it because he decided to remind the American public, and along with the international community? After all, many in the United States and abroad share the view of the American filmmaker Michael Moore, who said: “When this era will go down in history, how will they remember Obama: “He was the first black President.” This is a considerable achievement, but that’s it. This is all Mr. Obama. And hundreds of years later people will still say: “He was the first black American that got elected President”, but that’s all about you can be said”.
Perhaps Obama understands this, and therefore would like to be remembered by the people as a political leader, advancing the beginning of settlement of humanity beyond Earth.