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Melissa Praemonitus August 4, 2020
In a picture perfect splashdown on August 2, SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft made history as astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were returned safely to Earth. President Trump tweeted, "Great to have NASA Astronauts return to earth after very successful two month mission. Thank you to all! Astronauts complete first splashdown in 45 years. Very exciting!"
Both former President Obama and former Vice-President Joe Biden were quick to claim credit, with Obama tweeting, "We launched the Commercial Crew program to strengthen our U.S. space program and it's been great to see its success. This historic NASA-SpaceX mission is a symbol of what American ingenuity and inventiveness can achieve." In a separate statement, Biden showed pride in "the role that President Obama and I had in fighting to ensure that commercial crew flights from American soil would become a reality."
With some media outlets shrilly proclaiming that President Trump was taking credit for a program that was initially begun during the George W. Bush administration and expanded during the Obama years, it's always wise to look back at what was actually occurring.
In 2016, the Capital Research Center wrote that Obama "killed" NASA:
In early 2010, Obama cancelled the Constellation program (already a reported $10 billion and seven years in progress) and its Ares I and Ares V rockets, the Orion spacecraft, the Altair lunar lander, and even America’s plans to return to the Moon and go on to Mars.
With that, American space exploration was dead, and it may remain so for a decade or longer.
To create the appearance that America still has a space program, a project was invented to spend the next 10 to 15 years planning one single mission to a fragment of an asteroid.
A bipartisan majority in Congress united against Obama’s destruction—partially. While Congress didn’t have the courage to force NASA to restore the plans and hardware required to return to the Moon, lawmakers did save the two most critical elements of the program, the Orion spacecraft and the Ares V rocket, and approved funding for commercial crew launches. The Ares V Moon-Mars rocket was renamed the “Space Launch System” (SLS) and was somewhat improved. Congress’s apparent goal was to proceed with the core elements of the program to allow the next president to restore NASA’s mission of space exploration. (emphasis mine)
While this was happening, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a former astronaut, U.S. Marine Corps flag officer, and test pilot, was making diversionary excuses for the cancellation of manned space exploration and carrying out President Obama’s orders. In July 2010, Bolden explained to Al-Jazeera:
When I became the NASA administrator, [President Obama] charged me with three things. One, 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, math and engineering.
read the whole article here
Now that it appears NASA and it's private enterprise partners are back on track, we may begin to see advancements beyond our wildest dreams.