A half century ago the Mercury Seven embodied America’s space future.There is many success in Apollo missions. But it should be need rearrange all the system and the plan.
In recent years, however, NASA’s star has faded. On Monday, President Obama drove that latter point home with his $19 billion budget proposal for fiscal 2011, which, among other things, would put an end to the big-ticket Constellation program.
Even more significantly, the budget proposal looks toward the burgeoning commercial spaceflight industry, with an emphasis on its entrepreneurial spirit and mounting activity, as well as a reduced burden to taxpayers.
Not that there would be no taxpayer involvement: the government plans to direct $6 billion over the next five years toward developing commercial manned spaceflight capabilities.
Ken Bowersox, a former astronaut and now a SpaceX vice president, was one of those introduced and said he couldn’t help but notice the parallel to the Mercury astronauts — right down to the number seven
(Photo shows a Delta II rocket, supplied by the commercial United Launch Alliance, lifting off in December with NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite.
Photo by Bill Hartenstein, United Launch Alliance