Thousands of NASA engineers still unemployed after shutdown
Former astronaut Scott Horowitz speaks out
- Duration 4:31
- Date Jul 16, 2012
Former astronaut Scott Horowitz speaks out
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I believe that this nation should commit itself.
To achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the year.
No single space project in this area.
Will be more impressive to mankind.
Are more important for the long range exploration of space.
Those words by former president Kennedy launched one of the most ambitious.
And successful collective efforts by mankind.
In our history.
Also made Nassau the -- near space agency in the world.
But that was then this is now.
Today a NASA astronaut is forced to piggyback ride into space that lasting up Saturday in a Russian made Soyuz capsule for a four month mission.
On the International Space Station.
While thousands and I'll formally done.
Well trained engineers down at NASA.
Are still a lot of work a year after the end of the manned space shuttle program they are literally.
Walking around the Kennedy Space Center giving -- to dignitaries and providing oral histories to terrorists.
Scott Horowitz is NASA astronaut -- welcome back to the program.
Yes maybe and its its its very said thanks for having me back as bad as it is -- in Florida it's tens of thousands of aerospace workers across the entire country that this is affected.
And let's not and make any bones about this this is not a political -- President Bush was the one who first put -- to process.
The end of the shuttle program and President Obama then piled on and and curtailed the mission even further so we've got bipartisan blame to go around.
-- you can blame every wanna -- budget constraints and so on so forth but.
I mean what does it mean to you what is it what should it mean to Americans sitting at home to see now an American astronaut having to piggyback -- space with the Russians.
I mean I would be pretty upset about us American taxpayer knowing that our country went from the premiere Spacek.
You know country in the world.
So basically number three behind the Russians and the Chinese I mean we.
We started on a path to replace the shuttle back in 2004.
It was underfunded as you said in the bush administration and then the current administration just completely canceled it and now we don't have a replacement for the space shuttle.
I mean it's you think about when we are little kids and you saw images like this even you know back when I was young.
There is the disaster of the challenger.
That happened you know we were.
I was in middle school I think at the time when -- -- the craft blew up and we had Columbia not so long ago so there have -- disasters.
But still it was a point of -- this program for all Americans.
And now let's go on.
Right I mean Megan I grew up actually I live for a short time Indian Harbour beach Florida just about a dozen miles south of the cape I watched the first Saturn -- takeoff.
My biggest fear growing up wanting to be an astronaut was -- By the time I was old enough to apply we -- have already been to Mars and beyond -- all the good stuff would have been over by now.
So this is really frustrating to CS just you know plod along and slowly dismantled our manned space flight program in and lose.
A huge source of national pride and a big motivation for students all over.
Not just United States but the world to succeed in math and science and do great things.
And now you've got more than 7400 people who were once I mean these are some top engineers and so -- who worked at NASA.
I mean walking around the Kennedy Space Center offering.
Oral histories god bless them I mean I respect him for offering their expertise you know on -- on a volunteer basis but.
We can use them for so much more they're capable of so much more -- -- -- -- I was fortunate to -- to a foreign force shuttle missions -- the thing that was so amazing was I got to go around and meet all the people and work of all the people that made that possible.
And you're right these are some of the most dedicated.
You could ever meet and to waste that human capital resource.
Is is just a crime.
Well that was your bomber segment for the day but -- thought it was worth had taken a moment and just sort of marking -- point area like that point we signed 1961.
Mister -- let's thank you -- Thank you -- always a pleasure.