It has been interesting to see how different news agencies gather and report information about the current situation involving NASA and their space program. Yet, what’s come at a real surprise and been rather interesting to examine is the information that has been gathered by bloggers.  They have unleashed their opinions by demanding that the United States keep the space program running.  Sam Patel of SAVE NASA, along with fellow students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, are sending a direct message to Congress, explaining why there is a high demand to keep space exploration.

 After looking at the petition this group put together, there are some interesting perspectives to think about for the ISS and space in general.  This group begins to discuss, that mankind has been drawn to the heavens for the same adventures that were once embarked on to find land.  The idea of exploration and adventure may soon run out if our government doesn’t act quickly to determine NASA’s future.  John F. Kennedy challenged the United States to be the leaders in space exploration by not only being the first on the moon, but creating technological advancements.  We can thank the NASA and its space program for the technological achievements like: ultrasound scanners, pacemakers, hearing aids, MRI tests, and surgery tools.  Its breakthrough technology like the ones stated above can continue to change human life, if Obama Administration will continue to let it happen.

The petition continues on about the Obama Administrations skepticism and changing the funding for direct space travel to private enterprise.  If the government plans on pouring billions upon billions of dollars into a new space program that has had no time for preparation, no outlined agenda for its future; it  could inevitably destroy all leadership capabilities and lead to bankruptcy.  If money seems to be the big problem to continue space exploration and the existence of the ISS; form a global financial effort.  It’s important to realize that the ISS just recently was completed, so now scientists can devote time to advanced research and experiments, which is why there has been a huge push to keep the ISS operational till at least 2020.

 Another perspective to look at is by Thierry Legault, an active blogger on space exploration,  posted his blog that discusses the ISS after ten years.  After all the “pork barreling” that was involved to get politicians to agree to this multi-billion science project; now the government needs to realize that the space station actually exists and it needs to be put to use.  Money has already been spent to make the project happen, so don’t let it be wasted.  Maybe next time NASA and the United States government, may learn to manage their money a little better and not bite off more than they can chew.

 Though the ISS has been a huge part of my discussion of the past several weeks, next time see why NASA is so eager to understand and explore planets in our solar system.

It may seem unreal that the United States would abandon the International Space Station (ISS), especially when the program completed construction this past year; but with only five years left on the current NASA contract, it’s undetermined in the direction our country wants to go with space exploration.  The government needs to react by answering this important question, especially when it affects the longevity of our nation. Terminating the ISS program will affect our countries leadership ability and possibly ignite negative international perceptions.  This inevitability would demonstrate to other nations our lack of commitment to science and potentially leaves the United States as a bystander and miss out on great opportunities in the development of new research.

The Space Foundation in their article for the ISS, stress the importance of international partnerships by saying that nations has been given great opportunities to join one another in international affairs and doing so has created much success for everyone.  It’s important to realize that the ISS has and will continue to be the stepping stone for collaborations among nations.    The ultimate failure for the United States would to not renew its contract with the ISS for the sheer fact it would ruin international relations and will globally be seen as an unreliable partner.  This could mean that all future scientific studies and explorations the country must financially pay for without any help.  With our nation already in financial turmoil, this could severally alter government spending.

However, today President Obama was at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to help not only eliminate criticism he has been receiving towards the space program, but more importantly to calm and comfort NASA employees that may be out of a job when the shuttle program ends.  President Obama told NASA he was committed to their programs and capabilities.  He also made it clear that our nation has already been to the moon and we must look past that and realize there are bigger and better explorations to be had by our astronauts.

Finally, what seemed most intriguing, while understanding our government’s situation with the ISS; was looking at what bloggers and opinion based websites had to say about our countries current dilemma.  This particular website, called thepetitionstite.com, though relatively small still delivered a powerful concept.  Here it has its bloggers state their claim about saving the ISS and also encouraging them to spread the word to others, with aspirations of reaching one thousand signatures in their petition.  One particular message that Michael Hebert states in this petition is that, to de-orbit our space station just five years after complete is a poor decision and is a slap in the face to every American and international partner involved.  Our government needs to act now, because if not, time will soon be up.

NASA and its subcontractors must get plans in motion if they are considering a project for being a space taxi service to shuttle astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) before the 2020 deadline.  However, there is an even bigger problem, at the moment there has been no funding put into place to support the ISS beyond 2015. With budget constraints and a diminishing shuttle program, NASA may end its participation in the program.  This also means by 2016 the ISS is scheduled what scientist believe to be a controlled de-orbit into the Pacific Ocean; yet nothing that has been manmade of its size has allowed NASA scientist to actually determine how it can be done in the safest manner. 

It’s important to realize that while the United States may want to end its participation in the program, International partners (Russia, Japan, Canada & Europe) are interested in continuing the program.  The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, has openly spoken to BBC News, about his desire to keep the ISS flying past the 2015.  He believes there is great worth in the ISS and in order to maintain that prolonged existence, countries need to hire more scientists to develop and run experiments.  However, it’s difficult to persuade these scientist when they obviously know there will be little time or money to produce any material.  Dordain, also goes on to discuss that having the ISS allows scientists to conduct research and experiments from afar and bring back information to a variety of fields, not just including those dealing with science. 

The main perspective and scenario that needs to be evaluated here is the United States, according to the Space Foundation.  Our country decision to potentially withdraw impacts the future of ISS.  There are potential issues that could be altered, such as perceptions of the United States, space exploration, workforce and most importantly education.  It seems unusual to withdraw when the United States has the most advanced space program in the world and the main purpose of the ISS is to help benefit all of mankind.