Will America be the First to Put a Woman on Mars?
September 18, 2007 (LPAC)--Speaking on Sep. 17 in Washington, to kick off a series of events to celebrate the space agency's 50th anniversary next year, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, reflecting [a:href="\/woman-mars-download"]LaRouches Woman on Mars (Windows Media Player 9 required) project from the 1980s[/a], summarized the economic importance of our investment in space science and technology: "Economic growth is driven by technological innovation...What drives innovation?" One of the factors is "the exploration and exploitation of the space frontier."
Griffin has usually handled questions about the space agency's lack of resources to do its job, by being a team player, and saying that he will do the best he can with what he's got. But yesterday, when asked about the potential for cooperation and competition with other emerging space powers, he said that there is a "lack of appreciation for the space faring skills of Russia, China, and India." In terms of future programs, it takes "only the decision to do it, for those nations or societies to do exciting and prominent things...I personally believe that China will be back on the Moon before we are." Considering that China will launch its first unmanned lunar probe this year, and the U.S. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter does not go until 2008, it was unclear if Griffin meant unmanned or manned missions by China.
Responding to a follow-up e-mail request for clarification from Aviation Week, Griffin said he was specifically referring to a human return to the Moon. With uncharacteristic bitterness, Griffin said, "I think that when that happens, Americans will not like it, but they will just have to not like it. I think we will see, as we have seen with China's introductory manned space flights so far, we will see again that nations look up to nations that appear to be at the top of the technological pyramid." In his speech, he said for America to remain a leader, "we must continue to innovate, and we must continue to innovate in space."