Seems to be a big push this morning, both on the floor of Congress and on all the cable "news" channels (left and
right!) to persuade Obama to restore the manned space program.
I truly don't understand why the cable "news" channels have such a hardon for astronauts. Is it just a free source of allegedly interesting video without copyright restrictions?
understand why some Senators are pushing: Texas and other states in the South have large NASA installations, and losing manned flight will lead to shutdown of those facilities. Defending those Federal goodies is rational.
At this point in history there's simply no reason
for manned flight. Apollo flights told us nothing significant about the moon, while all recent important discoveries about Mars and other planets have been made by satellite telescopes and robotic rovers.
And the justification of space as driver of technology is laughable. Yes, solid-state electronics was sort of inspired by the needs of space flight, but the Shuttle uses obsolete technology, not the latest and greatest.
When it comes to government activities driving modern technology, war
is by far the most important, with the Census
coming in a distant second. Space flight simply isn't on the list.