29 December 2006
Opinion - General (Ugly)
NASA Lacks Youth Appeal
Young people "indifferent," according to survey
by G B Leatherwood
by G.B. Leatherwood

According to a Space.com article, NASA has realized, following an extensive research project at taxpayer expense, that young people don't seem to be interested in NASA's space program.

Has anyone considered that NASA is the problem? Young people view the behemoth space agency as their father's and grandfather's project, involving a dead-end program constructing a tin can circling the earth endlessly with no real purpose other than circling the earth endlessly.

The article states, "The 2004 and 2006 surveys by Dittmar Associates Inc. revealed high levels of indifference among 18- to 25-year-olds toward manned trips to the moon and Mars."

Perhaps this age group is indifferent because manned trips to the moon and Mars is inherently uninteresting: Go to the moon? Been there, done that. Go to Mars? Ho hum, not in our lifetime.

Astronaut training? Five to ten years training waiting for a ten-day mission doing what? Folding up a recalcitrant solar panel. WOW! Or they could stay in the tin can for six months with two other people, at least one of whom may or may not speak English.

What's the answer to revitalizing interest in space? Space tourism, jobs, privatization, jobs, experimentation, jobs, commerce, jobs, exploration, and last but not least, jobs.
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G B Leatherwood 29 December 2006
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