Drugs and Mars

An article in Sunday’s edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at how some members of Congress from the St. Louis area plan to address potential budget cuts to pay for hurricane relief. One of those quoted in the article is Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) talks about changes in the Medicare prescription drug plan, then veers sharply in another direction:

“Consider that everything else is negotiated: wheelchairs, doctors’ fees, everything but drug prices,” she said. “I also hope they eliminate Mars out of the NASA budget.”

One assumes that Rep. Emerson is referring to the Vision for Space Exploration, and not the existing (and relatively small) robotic exploration program. Oddly, speaking earlier in the article about the drug plan, she said, “We could probably find all the savings we need right there.” If so, why eliminate Mars?

5 comments to Drugs and Mars

  • Mark R. Whittington

    Maybe she meant what she said and wants to eliminate Mars entirely. With thermonuclear weapons?

  • I see two possible reasons:

    1: Mars is seen as Bush’s idea, and with bush’s approval rating dropping, Mars is just a political tool, rejecting Mars is rejecting Bush. And is used in attempts to show that the repiblicans are moving away from bush in hopes of getting relected in midterm elections so they can keep the majority.

    2: She is from missouri. Not sure if her district include St, Louis, but thats where Boeing does must of there space stuff. If Mars is removed from the picture, then there isn’t the need for a sustainable way of going beyond the moon, so Boeing may get more money over the short term.

  • I thought the same thing as Mark. “Eliminating Mars” strikes me as a very expensive proposition!

    Mr. Bush’s approval ratings are a shot over the bow to space advocates. This is why it is so critical that the VSE be at least tacitly a bipartisan exercise. The continued attacks, here and elsewhere, on politicians and others who support the project, just because they do not toe the current Repulican party line, are a very good way to see that the VSE does not have a long-term future.

    — Donald

  • The congresswomen doesn’t know a thing about what she is talking about.
    She is singleling out mars because its a subject that she doesn’t know much about, doesn’t care to learn more about and in here little mind doesn’t fit into here small scope of reality. In fact she probably just mentions it because it was a high priority with a certain former majority leader.

    I am really sick and tired of this attitude in congress, but it is just an example of the technically inempt people we are electing to congress these days.

    I am going to take the very unpopular opinion that deverting money from science and tech programs to social programs does nothing to help us in economical growth or international leadership.

    We have to decide if we want to remain a superpower or just become another third world country dependent on handouts from other nations.

  • David Davenport


    If you hurry too much, quality control sometimes suffers.