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The first man to walk on the moon slamming the Obama administration's plans for the future of NASA.
Just one day before the president visits Florida to the -- to deliver a space policy speech.
Neil Armstrong and fellow astronauts -- signing an open letter criticizing the decision to scrap NASA's Constellation Program.
That would've sent Americans back to the moon.
Joining us now on the phone one of the signers of that letter captain Jim level he was the Apollo thirteen commander.
And the command module pilot and navigator for Apollo eight.
Also signers -- mention of that joint letter to the president captain -- it's good to talk to you again.
You say that it in essence you think that this decision to cancel the Constellation Program was short sighted.
Given the budget constraints that our country is under right now.
Defend your position.
I yes -- tickets short sighted because leaders spent -- -- -- seven billion dollars didn't drive through.
Get the Constellation Program going -- routers to have -- the president.
Is that okay built -- -- why capsule.
As a roadblock -- they're commercial interest so let them build body booster to -- that capsule.
That is based there's aboard the space station.
They don't realize that by doing that -- they've.
-- -- will be over booster will be good to -- doors they would rather have the expert these did you also for being -- -- And consequently.
It's gonna cost is billions not just to build the booster but do -- -- structure Belichick gave the lost both legs so.
I don't think they did it completely rude to.
What that -- -- accomplice -- a program of ivory or all of vehicle.
-- go back -- -- the based do it supports it as the basis.
Obviously you were part of America's successful moon program Apollo back in -- sixties and seventies.
Part of that Apollo thirteen crew that had that enormous problem in space and and was able to.
Overcome it and and get back to earth safely.
You know the feeling among some Americans we've been to the -- been there done that maybe they say this is a program that could go by the boards.
Well it you don't vital that the understand the real value will love the of this program they.
So the other -- expressed its.
The program was never decided -- -- education but it is.
It is really caused bosses about thousand young people -- really try to get a good career -- lot of people that are.
Late forties or fifties who were -- fire but what we did of the space program.
And the program was was never meant to be you make work -- -- welfare programs like those.
Basically go right now.
If we put thousands upon thousands of dedicated people to do the job -- but -- of this space.
I had that the program was was never designed to support other businesses or industries.
Yet the thousands that also the technology improvements.
Have have helped -- companies that are that they have no interest or there are no -- -- states.
In this in this letter to the president you warned that America is likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity.
Program to launch humans into space and you right.
It appears that we will -- wasted our current ten plus billion dollar investment in constellation.
And equally importantly we will have lost the many years required to re create the equivalent.
Of what we will have discarded.
At a time when we are going to be forced to rely on.
Russians -- launch our astronauts to the International Space Station because we won't have a flying shuttle fleet anymore.
You're saying that it is the human capital.
-- the knowledge I guess suppressing the space envelope.
That is really one of the big concerns here.
And that's exactly correct we're gonna lose all that by try to -- some other direction of I kind of you know go up through a commercial aspects to do something that we already have -- have.
You know I have looked at bat but is that we're going -- -- -- third -- -- China and Russia are going to be premier.
Other space station wolf we have especially out better until the the -- -- airs this.
If we wanna go up there.
For each ask lot of hours side -- -- -- -- the sixty plus billion dollars that goes through a through our house that was built -- -- -- While.
Commander Jim level the commander of that famous Apollo thirteen flight commander it's good talk to you thanks very much being with -- picture.
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