The idea of U.S. astronauts soon having to hitchhike on Russian rockets has Russian leaders gleaming with joy. According to a recent article from a Russian government daily newspaper featured in the Washington Post, the country is “burning with ambition” over the prospect of possibly swiping the United State’s top spot as the worldwide leader in space exploration.
“ Russia will fuel space exploration once again, while the U.S. vision appears dampened,” reads the article, in reference to President Obama’s recently proposed budget, which calls for an end to NASA’s manned spaced program. The move will not only mean a possible relinquishment of the U.S. title as space frontrunner, but also the loss of tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, many of which belong to IAM members.
President Obama is proposing the U.S. contract the building and development of its spacecraft with private companies. And because it takes years to build and develop a spacecraft suitable for flight, the president is proposing, in the meantime, NASA hitch rides into space under Russia’s space program.
“President Obama’s plans to cut NASA’s manned space program leads us in the wrong direction,” says IAM Southern General Vice President Robert Martinez, Jr. “At a time when our nation has been buffeted by economic turmoil, the one thing we cannot jettison is our dream for the future, and along with it, thousands of U.S. jobs.”
The decision to continue NASA’s manned space program now lies in Congress. Click here to tell your Senator or Representative to vote “yes” for the continuation of NASA’s manned space program and to protect American jobs.