15 April 2010, JellyBean @ 8:52 am

On Thursday, April 15, President Barack Obama will visit Cape Canaveral to outline his administration’s goals for NASA. Twenty-seven former NASA astronauts and managers are waiting to see what President Obama specifically says about manned flights to the moon and Mars.

On April 12, 2010, in anticipation of the president’s announcements at Cape Canaveral, the group wrote and signed a letter to President Obama protesting the cancellation of NASA’s Constellation program, originally planned to replace the shuttles. Currently, the Obama administration wants to emphasize robotics and not manned missions to either the moon or Mars. The following is the NASA group’s letter.

“April 12, 2010

Dear President Obama:

America is faced with the near-simultaneous ending of the Shuttle program and your recent budget proposal to cancel the Constellation program. This is wrong for our country for many reasons. We are very concerned about America ceding its hard earned global leadership in space technology to other nations. We are stunned that, in a time of economic crisis, this move will force as many as 30,000 irreplaceable engineers and managers out of the space industry. We see our human exploration program, one of the most inspirational tools to promote science, technology, engineering and math to our young people, being reduced to mediocrity. NASA’s human space program has inspired awe and wonder in all ages by pursuing the American tradition of exploring the unknown. We strongly urge you to drop this misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future….

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