(It occurs to me that State of the Union addresses are as close as Americans get to those multi-hour Politburo performances. Let’s hear it for the free world!)
But where was the Space Program? A friend told me that there was no mention of the final frontier. I got a transcript, searched it, and he was right! One week from the announcement of the next great expansion of the Final Frontier, and the trip is over.
This gives lots of ammo to those critics who saw the Mars Project as a way to kill off NASA. They could be right. Killing NASA would fit with the neo-con desire to move weapons into space. That’s harder to do when civilians are floating around up there.
(To be fair, the neo-cons have had help. A lot of the momentum within the military for expanding space forces developed during the Clinton Administration.)
So we kill Hubble, hand the Space Station to the Europeans like a landlord leasing an apartment to students, (“Sure heat is included, and the windows hardly leak”) and leave most of our space activities deep in a black budget somewhere. No dreams, except dreams of power.
Postscript: It looks like Bush is going to increase the budget . It is still odd, though, his not mentioning it. Any thoughts?