Thursday, April 28, 2011


Marion Pellicano Ambrose

The White House announced that President Barack Obama and the First Family plan to attend the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on Friday April 29th. This will be the second to last mission for the cancelled shuttle program. The commander of the mission, Mark Kelly, wish of hoping his wife Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will be able to attend the lift off looks promising. Giffords was shot through the head in January and has reportedly made amazing progress and may attend.  The Congresswoman, who served on the House Science and Technology Committee and took on NASA affairs while heading the space subcommittee, had made repeated attempts in the past to have the President attend a launch, but to no avail. When she was told he would be present on the 29th she was said to have smiled and said “Awesome”.

Whether the people of the Space Coast and NASA employees will be as pleased at the President’s visit remains to be seen. United Space Alliance, who is the primary contractor for the shuttle, announced that 2,000 workers have been laid off. A total of 7,000 workers at Kennedy Space Center are expected to lose their jobs after the launch of the last shuttle, Atlantis, in June. When the President visited KSC about a year ago, he pledged to spend $40 million to provide new jobs for laid off shuttle workers. Unfortunately, funding is now uncertain as Congress and President Obama enact the recent budget deal that will fund the Federal Government through September. It looks like we’ll be hitching a ride with the Russians if we hope to continue participation in the work at the International Space Station.

How do you feel about the President’s cancellation of the Constellation Program?  If it were up to you, what would you do about America’s Space Program? Comment and let us know. (Opinions welcome, but please no trashing of people or parties. Thank you.)

While you’re thinking about it, check out one of our Lunch Time Polls: Are we really alone?


  1. Having grown up on Long Island... the end of the Shuttle program echos like the memories of Bethpage NY after Grumman's exodus from Long Island... I fear for Brevard County much like I remember the effects on Long Island in the late 80's - only now - It's a different scary to be the homeowner and taxpayer.

    Also sad to wonder about if kids will dream to be astronauts if there aren't any American's going into space... It wouldn't be such a sad ending --- if something else was beginning...

  2. I don't know what Obama is thinking! We're going to be fish in barrel and the Russians and Chinese will have the spearguns!

  3. DRL was me, Tony --- LOL
    Comments were practically non-functional yesterday. I have friends and relatives here that relocated from Bethpage, NY and now wait t see how much fallout there will be to the supporting industries. I personally know more then a few who are already unemployed as a result of the shuttle program ending. The Shuttle Program feeds so many other industries, companies and vendors as well as school enrollment, housing, tourism... etc., etc... Will Brevard become a ghost town before Nasa rejoins a "Mission to Space"?

  4. I am SO afraid of depending on Russia for transportation to the Space Station and now China is stepping up their space program too? Sad times for the Space Coast, Florida and the USA!

  5. This is the end of an era in American History and a terrible blow to American pride and enginuity. People don't relize how many amazing things came out of the space program: new ways to feed hungry nations,fire protection, new and better materials and products,advances in SO many areas other than just space travel! This doesn't even take into account the thousands of jobs that Americans needed to support their families.