Friday, April 2, 2010

Thy Congressman


Well here's a new twist... I actually received a letter FROM my Congressman.

I've voted, rallied and/or written letters to Senators and Representatives over the years in nearly every state in which I've lived. For the first time, I have gotten a response -- a form letter written by an aide and signed by the elected, no doubt, but an interesting development nonetheless.

I wrote to lend support to maintenance of NASA as a whole, though not because I have anything against the private industry angle. My worries revolve mostly around the speed with which this is all happening.

Congressman John Carter on NASA
A year ago, rumors flew that "Obama May Tear Down Wall Between NASA And Pentagon" (had to go hunting for that link again!). Now, the Pentagon seems to have been left out of the White House + NASA loop in terms of swift project cancellations. The Air Force Under Secretary for Space Programs told a Senate subcommittee that retiring the shuttle and canceling Ares may force Pratt & Whitney to double the price of rocket engines in the face of decreasing demand and related rising costs.

Other unforeseen consequences on Pentagon Space Programs? We don't yet know. And we're speedily risking an awful lot of jobs and resources without knowing the far-reaching future ramifications.

Of course, politicians in states like mine where large space and/or research centers reside are not difficult to convince. They are all too willing to agree, and here's hoping I've added my one voice to many in the rising throng.