China Unveils 5-Year Plan for Space Exploration
Former astronaut Gene Cernan reacts
- Duration 7:35
- Date Dec 30, 2011
Former astronaut Gene Cernan reacts
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Watch all -- -- program.
-- room for error.
Unforgettable words of Neil Armstrong becoming the first man to walk on the moon.
But America supremacy in outer space is about to be challenged in a significant way as China.
Announces an aggressive five year plan for the final frontier.
Joining me live is the last American man to walk on the moon -- -- man former astronaut Jean cern in Jeanne thank you so much for being back with us.
This is this quite an announcement from the Chinese now they are saying that they have a five year plan for SpaceX exploration that will move them closer.
Two going into outer space in a meaningful way.
They've already vowed to build a -- station and to put an astronaut on the moon all of this while the American program.
Is in retreat your reaction to the news.
Well you know freedom no surprise that Chinese.
And Asians in general fees seem to have a consistent program -- -- -- Towards the future.
And this really surprises norm what what what is a big surprise were hurt tomorrow McGraw American voters are thinking about -- we just abdicated.
Our future leadership -- space and I think that's significantly important both both from a civilian point of view.
Military point of view and certainly it's gonna have tremendous economic impact and put make a -- ball in the future.
How I mean it's -- two Americans are watching this because you know obviously it's it's always been the United States vs Russia.
In terms of space exploration and it was also cold war in outer space.
And now I have got the Chinese and in 2003 -- became the third country to send a human Indus basin as we are sort of retreating a bit on our space program is certainly -- our.
Plans to go back to the moon which President Bush wanted you President Obama says no.
We get China saying what -- it will fill the vacuum.
Is it is it more than just a space race says that it does it impact our country's.
As you know economically and otherwise.
There -- I guess it's the -- -- a space station a week.
Do we make Kennedy's president.
To the world as close to ourselves I think -- or travel long long term implications.
You know economically.
If if in the country that controls our space in one way or another country and it controls the high ground general -- You think of -- military wars space I don't think so I think it could be very well and economic war experience -- -- control the capability to.
Destroy satellites for -- -- to interrupt communications -- -- to do there -- banking system but navigation system are gonna put up our whole.
-- -- satellites that GPS system satellites which is gonna challenge shows that we've already got up there.
There there are a long term implications for who truly will be the superpower.
Not only the intellectual but the technological superpower in the future and and as I said it -- we have abdicated we can't we won't.
Maybe we won't be able put an American on American -- -- hard work till the end of the decade.
And I -- you know that's unacceptable I wanna put these pictures up entity that one we showed first this is you.
The moon this is the man we -- talking to folks -- cern and an American hero an astronaut on the moon the last man to walk on the moon and now we've got the Chinese saying.
They're going to -- Begin the work to land their -- astronauts on the moon when we've abandoned.
You know our plans President Bush's call -- -- -- -- in them by 20/20.
That plan has now been canceled -- and this is you I mean.
It as the man who was in the Datsyuk doing this on the moon.
How do you feel.
Not very good.
I'm pretty distant for a week or knocked on the door there it'll be forty years ago people realize -- -- those final steps.
Forty years ago almost a half a century ago.
We knocked on the door to the future -- was for the following generations.
-- to walk through that door who knows -- they'd be now what it would mean to the future it is that just a country but the future of the world of mankind.
And we just backed down and quit quite frankly and a lot of people today I get more questions from young men and young women in her forties and fifties -- -- diapers -- meet -- and say.
Why don't we quit why didn't we -- -- one are we going back.
The whole nation hasn't yet.
Fully grasp I think this situation.
That were being put in by the present administration.
Obama says he wants to go explore an asteroid.
Or other goals instead of the -- we've already -- there.
Your thoughts on that -- and -- did not sign on and on how this just you know and it seems like the NASA programs which is depending on who we have in the Oval Office is no.
Bad you know going or -- big dealers Iraq out there what's it gonna tell us I'm not it for sure we can Moran and as -- You know -- -- there done that by going to the moon doesn't -- as far as I'm concerned we're administered places on the moon.
We've discovered -- -- water on the moon -- -- helium three and it was over minerals.
Besides the moon is is somehow a very convenient place.
-- which is it to decide where we go from here you know curiosity is the essence of human existence who are -- Where we come from where we going how long -- gonna be here it gives us a platform which in which to look to the future and answer those.
Those questions I think that we all want and on were cheating were quite frankly we're cheating future generations.
And and when you look at the young kids -- the day what's really inspired them what.
Megan you're generation what's inspired you to dream up.
It's had its -- strong steps dynamo and they don't exist and the steps exist but to future.
From from where we can go after those steps is very much in question.
Yet before LA -- -- -- -- Manassas million times but it's not every day we get to talk you know I love hearing your stories as we as we -- back up the video -- on the moon.
Bounce and across the surface.
What was that like.
-- well you know it's nostalgic to -- Roberts that it was.
Out of my life for quite frankly -- -- sometimes -- wonder what really happened it was that a dream it -- you know my life was going around things seem to be.
May related journalists and bank -- -- pull out of existence of my life for want to Ramon.
And do I think about it occasionally when people like you -- members asked me about it and I know what happened.
I know was important but I feel.
It's there's something missing because what did we do what -- hit thirteen years of my life.
Mean -- future generations and I have been able answer that yet and and that any answer that question from -- more jeopardy than it's ever been.
We will go back and I tell -- young kids they're the ones that are gonna take effect.
If you and I and and others given the same opportunity -- gave us.
When we were there which it will happen -- you are an inspiration.
What -- legend like for many of us thank you so much for being back in the program.
-- great -- thank you all have a happy new year and -- you Fabrice anti --