Thousands of NASA Engineers Still Unemployed After Shuttle Shutdown
Former President John F. Kennedy launched one of the most ambitious and successful collective efforts in mankind history by putting a man on the moon. It also made NASA the premiere space agency in the world.
Now, a NASA astronaut is forced to piggy back a ride into space, blasting off Saturday in a Russian-made Soyuz capsule for a four-month mission on the international space station while thousands of formerly well paid engineers are still out of work a year after the end of the space shuttle program.
Former NASA astronaut Scott Horowitz weighed in on today’s America Live, saying, “I would be pretty upset if I was an American taxpayer knowing that our country went from the premiere space country in the world, to basically number three behind the Russian and the Chinese.”
He described what it was like growing up with hopes to be an astronaut. “My biggest fear growing up, wanting to be an astronaut, was that by the time I was old enough to apply was that we would’ve already been to Mars and beyond and all the good stuff would’ve been over by now.”
Horowitz said that the US lost a huge source of national pride by shutting this down and a big motivational tool for students all around the world to succeed in math and science.
Many astronauts who are out of work are volunteering and giving oral history tours around the Kennedy Space Center since the shuttle program shut down. He explained, “These are some of the most dedicated, talented individuals you could ever meet and to waste that human capital resource is just a crime.”