Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Unionized Labor Criticizes Obama Space Plans
"......NASA plays a critical role in both our national and economic security. Our space program has been a critical driver of innovations in such key technologies as computers and composite materials, and plays an important role in emerging industries such as wind energy and sensors to detect biological threats.....
....While our military services rely on private contractors to design and build most of their equipment, the military owns the planes, ships, armored vehicles, weapons, information systems, and other key technologies. The armed services also own their domestic bases and operate their own foreign bases. The military, like NASA, uses private contractors, but the military exercises control of its operations and the technology. NASA has owned its manned space vehicles and its launch facilities. Laws and regulations govern NASA and military procurement so that sourcing, security, technology transfers, and a wide range of key decisions promote U.S. security and economic interests.....
...The push to privatize space travel is similar to efforts to privatize other critical government services. These efforts are based on anti-government ideology and are promoted by companies that want to profit from government outsourcing. It defies common sense to believe that the way to save NASA money is to outsource even more when these same contractors are already frequently over budget and often involved in over-billing and even fraud.....
......I respectfully urge you to reconsider the proposal for NASA to become completely dependent on private contractors for space travel. Thousands of high wage, high skill jobs critical to our long-term economic future are at state. In the meantime, instead of relying on the Russians to launch our astronauts, we need to extend the space shuttle program and accelerate and modify the Ares and Orion program to meet NASA’s mission needs. Only then can we be assured that America will continue to be the world leader in new and innovative space technologies vital to future economic and national security."
R. Thomas Buffenbarger, International President
For a complete copy of the of the letter, go to the following URL:
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