To the Editor:
In her article in the Athol-Thurman section, in the August 6, 2011 issue of the Adirondack Journal, Evie Russell made the following comment:
“Now that the U.S. space program has come to an end, it will save our nation billions of dollars. At this point, I wonder whether this extra money will go toward paying off national debt, or will it go to another country? For some of us, discontinuing the space program came none too soon. The old timers used to say, “If we were meant to go to Mars, Jupiter, we would have been born there!”
Another “old timers” saying was, “If we were meant to drive cars, we would have been born with wheels.” Aren’t you glad this closed minded thinking didn’t prevail?
Please tell the 7,000 workers at the Cape or the 6,000 in Houston who just got their layoff notices that this program was a waste of money. Also include the workers in the surrounding service industry, fast-food, groceries, hotels, firemen, police and the teachers who will now lose their jobs because of the lack of customers as the workers move from the Cape area and Houston.
Remember, this money was not just thrown into space, there to burn up or float around forever, it was used to purchase equipment and to pay workers here on earth. Thereby increasing the tax money sent to the Feds for them to waste on stimulus programs that don’t stimulate, or war on poverty programs which have failed completely to reduce poverty.
Also, there is no “extra” money. In fact, one of the reasons the space program was stopped is because this government has spent all the “extra” money so we are now $14 trillion in debt without enough to keep the program going.
Some spin-offs of the space program are: computer technology, air quality monitor, virtual reality, structural analysis for automobile design, consumer/home recreation, enriched baby food, water purification system, scratch resistant lenses. In environmental and resource management: solar energy, weather forecasting aid, forest management.
These are just few of the spin-offs from the space program. For a full list, do a Google search for “NASA spinoffs.” I think you’ll be amazed at the products that came from this program and are now in use on Earth. Money well spent!