Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The irony of President Obama's call for a 'Sputnik Moment'

Presient Obama at his 2011 State of the Union address spoke:

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist. 

But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment.
In 1957, at an Army base in northern NJ, a group of scientists working in Top Secret scanned the heavens waiting to hear a signal from Sputnik I.   Camp Evans became part of Fort Monmouth, which later became home to the US Army's Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM).  

A half century later, Ft. Monmouth stands poised to be shuttered in 2011, part of the DoD's ongoing Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, while NASA is about to end it's manned space program with the end of the Shuttle program.

Neither of these are directly related to Pres. Obama (altho his disdain for manned space funding is quite apparent),  bur they do serve as a bitter irony to his use of the phrase Sputnik Moment.

Sphere: Related Content
DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati FavesFacebook