This week’s shuttle launch comes at a time when NASA is suffering from a raft of bad press, from allegations of intoxicated astronauts to reports of sabotaged computers, an article in today’s Palm Beach Post reminds us. And that means people of widely (and we do mean widely) varying ideologies are looking at NASA and sharpening their knives, either to whittle the agency down or to gut it.
The Post article quotes a statement by Bruce Gagnon’s Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space critical of NASA in light of recent events. “Should we continue to pour our precious tax dollars down the dysfunctional NASA rat hole?” Gagnon asks. The article, though, also quotes Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who is critical of the agency, although not as hyperbolic as Gagnon. “What we are seeing in NASA is the cumulative effect of about two decades of drifting,” Rohrabacher told the Post. “NASA needs to be reduced in focus so it becomes lean and mean rather than bureaucratic and complacent.”