Apr 19, 2010 6:25 AM by John Romero

U.S. space supremacy now in question

In the midst of President Obama's announcement Thursday that NASA's human space flight budget will be reduced. Many in the space industry fear the US is losing its grip on space superiority. "What we are seeing is that we are not holding our place." says Janet Stevens with the Space Foundation, "Other nations are investing and growing, so they are moving ahead. We are no longer #1 in all things. We are slipping behind fairly rapidly."

Astronaut Tom Henricks thinks the President's plan is too broad and needs to be better defined.
"The unknown is what makes people uncomfortable, but the unknown is what draws us to space." He explains, "So we need to define those goals and clarify what those individual roles are to meet those new goals."

In his speech, the president set a goal of Mars exploration in the year 2030. While Henricks admires the goal, he says it's too far off. "I think that we definitely have the opportunity to leverage commercial, to learn from the 50 years of experience of NASA and to leverage resources from our international partners to do it before then." he explains. As the space debate rages on, Stevens just hopes it's not too late. "So what we end up with is a gap, with the US not being able to send our own astronauts into space for 5, 10, 15 maybe even 20 years." she explains, "That's something that concerns us."



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