Purdue grad and former Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan – the
last most recent man to walk on the surface of the moon – has some tough words for President Obama.
Appearing on Fox News yesterday, Cernan told reporter Neil Cavuto that the President doesn’t “[want] America to be first.”
“I don’t know that he wants America to be first. I don’t know that he doesn’t want us to play on a more level playing field. I don’t know that he doesn’t care if Russia or China gets to the Moon and we’re dragging tailbone.”
Cernan has been harping for more federal funding for NASA for some time, which makes sense because he was an astronaut. While I personally think the Obama made the right move on privatizing the space industry (Gasp! A conservative principle!), many in my party couldn’t disagree more.
That might be why Mr. Cernan has been offered a speaking spot at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Apparently, he hasn’t turned it down:
“If I’ve got any credibility, I’m willing to lay it on the line.”
While I don’t entirely agree with Cernan – I guess he hasn’t heard of SpaceX – I’d love to see a Purdue astronaut take the stage on August 27. I’m certainly not saying we should build a moon base and make it into the 51st state, but who wouldn’t want to see space exploration featured in a bigger national discussion? In the words of Tsiolkovsky, “the earth is the cradle of the mind. But one cannot eternally live in a cradle.”