NASA’s Final Frontier


Once upon a time, NASA led America’s great ascent into the final frontier. But in a stunning case of misplaced priorities, the space agency now seems to be primarily concerned with raising Muslim self esteem.

While NASA prepares to send our aging and ailing space shuttles into retirement next year, President Obama has dealt proud Americans and space enthusiasts everywhere a devastating blow by canceling Project Constellation, the program put in place to develop a replacement vehicle. As consolation, the President offered modest funds to develop a new rocket and to encourage private industry to launch space vehicles of their own. However, the paltry allotment can’t hide the brutal truth: The era of America sending astronauts into space is over. Meanwhile, Russia and China remain the only other nations capable of sending humans into orbit.

NASA, the space agency that had accomplished so many firsts after a slow start against the Soviets — the first docking of two spacecraft, the first orbits of the moon and, of course, the world-changing small steps of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin — is clearly shifting focus under the Obama administration.  But few could have possibly imagined just how much different NASA’s new mission would be. The goal “perhaps foremost” on the President’s mind? Helping Muslims “feel good” about themselves.

So says Charles Bolden, a former astronaut and Obama’s NASA administrator. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Bolden said that he was happy to reach out to the Muslim world on the anniversary of the President’s Cairo speech. When asked by interviewer what the President’s goals for NASA were in the post-shuttle era, Bolden identified three things as presidential priorities. The first was getting American schoolchildren excited about the possibilities offered by math and science, certainly a laudable goal. The next was forging international partnerships, and that too is a logical and worthwhile mission for NASA — public outreach across the globe has long been an unofficial NASA function, and the agency has always worked extremely closely with European, Japanese and Canadian allies to advance science and Western security (and even cooperated with the Soviets in some largely symbolic displays of détente).

And the third priority, the one Bolden identified as the one the President took most seriously?

“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.”

That’s a strange mission for an American federal agency tasked with explaining the mysteries of the universe and expanding the frontiers of human knowledge through observation and exploration. Now that NASA will soon be getting out of the business of designing and launching spacecraft, is it to become the world’s biggest motivational workshop, boldly complimenting a billion people like they’ve never been complimented before so that they feel better about their own history?

It is difficult to fathom that this could truly be what the President feels NASA should focus on. Indeed, if such a thing had been suggested by a talk radio host or a right-wing blogger, many would have collectively rolled their eyes at yet another fringe conservative conspiracy, out to paint Obama as somehow anti-American, an internationalist more interested in making friends abroad than leading at home. It would almost have been too crazy an idea to believe, playing so closely into the stereotypical narrative of Obama as somehow disbelieving in America’s greatness, pursuing a new beginning with Islam at any cost. Too difficult to believe, that is, had the director of NASA not plainly said so himself, on camera and on the record.

NASA, with a budget of $18-billion and 17,000 employees, will continue to operate telescopes, launch satellites and operate robotic probes that will provide useful information to Earth-based scientists as to the nature of our solar system. It will also remain a nexus of high-tech expertise and technological development. Hopefully, one day, breakthroughs will make exploration of the solar system and perhaps even the distant stars so cheap that America will return to space. In the meantime, it will be left to other countries, and perhaps one day, private companies, to venture into outer space while NASA strives to somehow improve the self-esteem of a sixth of the world’s population.

This makes the loss of NASA’s manned exploration programs even more painful to endure. Had the President made the decision to cancel Constellation and give up on American exploration of our solar system for reasons of fiscal austerity, that would have been easier to accept. Indeed, it would have been a moment steeped in pathos — a great nation that had once dared to reach for the stars brought down by its own reckless spending. It would have been a lesson equally damaging to both political parties and could even have been a symbol of why America must rein in its deficits — having already lost space, what else could be allowed to slip away?

But instead, one of America’s great symbols of national power and prestige is being co-opted to serve this administration’s burning desire to win the affection of the Muslim world. That won’t happen, of course — the notion that Muslims will feel better about their achievements because America tells them they should is preposterous and condescending to the extreme, and now that Bolden has spoken of the plan aloud, anything that NASA does towards the dubious goal of improving the Muslim world’s self-esteem will come across as cynical and ham-fisted.

NASA’s dreams of exploration, and the national prestige they conferred upon America, have been lost. In time, it will be apparent that President Obama’s dreams of a new beginning with the Muslim world are similarly in vain.

Matt Gurney is an editor at the National Post, a Canadian national newspaper, and writes and speaks on military and geopolitical issues. He can be reached at matt@mattgurney.ca.

  • Realist

    Bolden is an idiot of the first order. Sucking up to Islam is really going too far and it indicates that people in responsible positions have no idea of what is really at stake.

  • ze-ev ben jehudah

    Mr Barack Hussein Obama,better known as mr No Brains,will not reveal
    his birth certificate,that in itselves says more than inough I think.So it is no
    wonder that I call this mister no brains a hater of Jews and a friend of moslims.
    How is it possible that simple folks,like me,can see right trough his facade,wich
    by the way looks much like an Italian dictator I have ones seen in action together
    with his German pall.This mr No Brains will be a greater catastrophe than those
    two world distructors. B.H.O. will go into history as the great distructor of the free
    west of this century. Don't we all know who his closest friends are?Should he not
    be kicked out of the oval office,and if possible today?.

    • dcdc

      Today!
      All traitors OUT AND DEPORTED TODAY!!!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/aspacia aspacia

      On what charges? Impeachment is difficult as he is acting with the majority consent of Congress. He has not committed any crimes as of yet, however, periodically he comes close to crossing the line with taxpayer bailouts.

      Do not misunderstand, the man is a menace, and a threat do our freedoms. At the first opportunity he is perfectly capable of declaring Marshall Law using Executive Orders.

  • Osa

    jehudah, while Obama is an idiot for cancelling the Project Constellation, he has shown his his birth certificate, time and time again. If you haven't gotten that, you must really be out of the loop!

    • richard

      that is a copy. possibly a fraud.

    • He's not eligible!

      OH PLEASE!
      Stop protecting the man.
      It's time for you (& others) to admit you made a poor choice, the man is still campaigning!

    • Dan

      If you haven't read enough to know that the only birth certificate he has shown is not the original long form with the doctor's signature but rather the computer generated form available to anyone, then you must really be out of the loop. The long form is the only form that can conclusively prove he is a native born US citizen and therefore eligible to be President of the United States.

  • Bob Jones

    Who cares if islamic countries can go to space? It's not like they can fire a nuclear weapon from there and set off an EMP that would shut down most of the major power grids in the US.

    • wow

      and you know this because?

      Some of us do care.

  • kafir4life

    Correction….Not "may be"…….IS!

  • Cuban Refugee

    In his malevolent quest to destroy the United States of America from within, the Manchurian President's orders are becoming a Stage Four cancer on our moribund republic. This is the latest assault which, if it were not so egregiously calamitous to NASA, would be comical — something out of an old Woody Allen movie. We the People will no longer tolerate these attacks to the institutions that made us Number One in the world. The chemotherapy rounds are starting in the November elections when we flip the House and the Senate. With our hearts and minds united in restoring our constitutional law, we will recover our health and our freedom! To use Buzz Lightyear's catchphrase, "To infinity … and beyond!"

  • richard

    obama's mission is to 'fundamentally change the u.s.'

    he is a disgrace. nasa's mission should be space travel, period.
    he is trying to destroy the u.s. to degrade, and put us into despair.
    hopefully come next election, (providing there aren't too many millions of mexicans
    allowed amnesty in the u.s.) people will cast an intelligent vote, and vote him out.

  • richard

    the worst. what can be worse than a traitor?

  • MBA NJ

    The usurper has done everything one would expect a hater of our country would do. He has imposed evil viruses into all our systems including incompetent individuals into our layers of government. The Democratic Party itself has allowed this usurper to take over by virtue of their changing the wording about his being constitutionally allowed with their claiming it was their choice—an evil manipulation that has dire consequences. Where is the Justice Department's treason bureau? The forces of evil, not a religious but a moral stance, are stripping our areas of strength in the same way that a 5th Columnist would explode an ammunition ship in our own harbors. Where is the FBI? Arrest this traitor and those who put him on the throne illegally by deceiving the American voters. Folks, WE ARE AT WAR and we have traitors that should be shot under normal rules of engagement in the same way that during the Battle of the Bulge we executed German soldiers impersonating American troops—but it must be done legally with due process and not through revolution or illegal acts.

  • singer23

    When the Muslims get to the Moon, they can have: " Sharia Law" on the Moon! I hope they will all move there and leave everyone on Earth alone! I hope they bring enough bombs with them, so they can blow each other up!

  • DCdc

    Yes, he IS. This goes without saying.

    As Mr. Horowitz once stated "their [leftist] America doesn't exist YET." I wish the whole nation would wake up to the left's plans.

    BHO wants to be the dictator and stand at the balcony and have the starving, half-naked, useful idiots chanting his name over and over.

  • USMCSniper

    Charles Krauthammer. Raising the question of why a manned space program is important, he says emphatically, “It’s not for practicality. We didn’t go to the moon to spin off cooling suits and freeze-dried fruit. Any technological return is a bonus, not a reason. We go for the wonder and glory of it. Or, to put it less grandly, for its immense possibilities.“We are now deep into that hyper-terrestrial phase, the age of iPod and Facebook, of social networking and eco-consciousness…. But look up from your Blackberry one night. That is the moon. On it are exactly 12 sets of human footprints — untouched, unchanged, abandoned. For the first time in history,” he notes, “the moon is not just a mystery and a muse but a nightly rebuke. We came, we saw, we retreated.” And when he wonders aloud, “How could we?” Charles Krauthammer speaks not only for those of us who never lost our sense of adventure and magic, our sense of wonder.

    • Ron Grant

      "For the first time in history,” he notes, “the moon is not just a mystery and a muse but a nightly rebuke. We came, we saw, we retreated.”

      We owe America so much for reaching out to our nearest celestial body.Now we are hopeful that America will use those same abilities to fix our earth.God Bless America.Muchiboy

      • USMCSniper

        It started with Clinton when he cancelled the Space Station Freedom, cancelled the heavy lift vehicles and shuttle replacement, and went international with the Russians and the Europeans and Japanese. The Chinese have their own space program and wanted no part of it. Bush was to preocuppied cleaning up Clinton's mess with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the Taliban and Osama and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Clinton's selling out of Israel with Yasser Arafat, and restoring the readiness due to Clinton's massive cuts in the military, and all with an inept CIA and NSA he forgot too clean house of Clintonites. Fix our Earth? What by making the backward intellectually primitive Muslims feel good about themselves? The mathematics and engineering achievements we owe to the golden age of Greece, the age of the renaissance, and the industrial revolution not the mucking fuzlims. Fix the Earth? To hell with the environmentalist wackos, the social engineers, the chimpouts ofAfrica and the third world. Let's go back to the Moon and on to Mars. Why? Because it is there and it is the pleasure my minds eye!!!!

  • sovereignjim

    You all miss the point. It is a covert attempt to steal the "Islamic Magic Carpet" technology.

  • RoGo – Texas

    Obama is a Muslim and will do everything he can to support growth of the Muslim State i]within our borders. He was born and raised this way (not in the US) and there is no reason he should change his sheep's clothing. He has fooled the voting public who wanted a "Black President" so bad that they were willing to ignore his call for redistribution of wealth and government agency control by radicals will to turn our Republic into a Socialist regime.

    • Beverley

      He is a "Trojan Horse"

  • Jim C.

    The interesting thing about this gripe is that Ronald Reagan wanted EXACTLY THE SAME THING with the Soviets.

  • Leo

    I felt getting enraged as I looked at this video and it is not a "fake one" his words are right there for everyone to see and hear! My aversion to this person is just beyong description. How in the world the American People put this man at the white house.? But what really, I can't understand is that he will be re-elected again (the polls show that the American People really like this guy) The American people don't read (get informed) forget quickly and move on. I am really afraid for our nation.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Tar_n_Feathers Tar_n_Feathers

    Why the Muslim world? If anyone needs some technological engagement it's the Amish. Shouldn't they get some NASA outreach program too? You couldn't make up the kind of bureaucratic absurdity that actually is the Obama administration.

  • TonyM

    SInce our soldiers have been turned into social workers and politically correct warriors, we should not be surprised that Obama would turn the briliant scientists and engineers of NASA into social workers as well. The most depressing aspect of this, bedise the obvious, is that Obama would think this was a good thing. Someone described this idea as "adolescent". Charles Karuthammer calls it "juvenile". Both are overestimations.

  • Katharina

    more cases every othe rday of Hussein Obama bowing to the mostly fascist-ruled Islamic world! I think Hussein has more up to his sleeve; than just trying to make the Muslims "feel good"! I bet this is paving easy access for Islamic-ruled countries to have all the high tech secret in space technology, including Christian-hating Indonesia! Thus, it can be dangerous! see – http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pag
    Indonesia sought as NASA's new mission partner?
    Agency chief wants 'largest Muslim nation in the world'
    ________________________________________
    Posted: July 02, 2010
    12:40 am Eastern
    By Bob Unruh
    © 2010 WorldNetDaily
    "The chief of NASA says Indonesia is being considered as a likely space mission partner for the United States, since President Obama has ordered the agency to reach out specifically to nations dominated by Islam.
    But the confirmation from NASA administrator Charlie Bolden to an audience of engineering students recently has stirred a furor in the Orlando Sentinel forum pages after his comments were reported there.
    The report said Bolden confirmed Obama has asked him to "find ways to reach out to dominantly Muslim countries" and find ways to use his agency as a tool of diplomacy with those nations. …"

  • Katharina

    More cases every other day of Barack Hussein Obama bowing to the mostly fascist-ruled Islamic world! I think Hussein has more up to his sleeve; than just trying to make the Muslims "feel good"! I bet this is paving easy access for Islamic-ruled countries to have all the high tech secret in space technology, including Christian-hating Indonesia! Thus, it can be dangerous!

  • Katharina

    Hussein wants NASA to reveal top security secret, maybe -he's a spy?! See – http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pag
    Indonesia sought as NASA's new mission partner?
    Agency chief wants 'largest Muslim nation in the world'
    ________________________________________
    Posted: July 02, 2010
    12:40 am Eastern
    By Bob Unruh
    © 2010 WorldNetDaily
    "The chief of NASA says Indonesia is being considered as a likely space mission partner for the United States, since President Obama has ordered the agency to reach out specifically to nations dominated by Islam.
    But the confirmation from NASA administrator Charlie Bolden to an audience of engineering students recently has stirred a furor in the Orlando Sentinel forum pages after his comments were reported there.
    The report said Bolden confirmed Obama has asked him to "find ways to reach out to dominantly Muslim countries" and find ways to use his agency as a tool of diplomacy with those nations. …"

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/WilliamJWard WilliamJamesWard

    Didn't they come from the dark side of the Moon, that which they worship, their
    home world, Luna……..I always like to remind everyone I can that leftists and
    Muslims are a match, Lunatics and Moon worshipers. Obama has something
    going here and I think he should join them all on a trip into outer space as soon
    as is possible, maybe the Sun, yes they can go at night……………William

  • Bobbie

    Obama is not a Muslim, communist, etc. He is just an opportunist/appeaser. As an American I could understand if Obama would have done that for all religions, etc. Just shows how out of touch and incompetent this president is.

  • Marty

    islamic self-esteem has been historically enhanced after muslims slaughter large numbers of defenseless non-muslims. This is why the genocidal sociopaths in tehran and riyadh regularly call for the destruction of Israel and the United States. It makes them feel good when they can at least fantasize about the death of western civilization, democracy, and technological progress.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qdDSbsKpl8 CHL

    NASA's New Mission Video

    Enjoy!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qdDSbsKpl8

    • Cuban Refugee

      Thank you, CHL, for the Thursday morning chuckles.

  • Eric

    What a great article, I found this to be quite an enjoyable read.
    Pittsburgh chiropractor

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  • Kim Bruce

    Obama was born in Africa.

    "For Ghana, Obama’s visit will be a celebration of another milestone in African history as it hosts the first-ever African-American President on this presidential visit to the continent of his birth." http://www.modernghana.com/news/226379/1/history-

  • Brett

    Osa,

    I've heard that Wikipedia is run by George Soros (one of the puppet masters behind Obama) cronies & wouldnt trust a thing they say. With that said Obama has never shown his "long" form birth certificate which is what is required to become president not the version that they are showing.