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Apollo Astronaut Hits Cancellation
Of Moon Program As Unconstitutional

Feb. 12, 2010 (EIRNS)—Harrison Schmitt, a Former Apollo astronaut as well as a former U.S. Senator, characterized the Obama Administration's proposed cancellation of the lunar exploration program, as a violation of the Constitution. Lyndon LaRouche had earlier stated that this proposal was an impeachable offense.

Schmitt said, in a statement released after the budget was made public, that "Expenditures of taxpayer provided funds on space-related activities find constitutional justification in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, that gives Congress broad power to 'promote the Progress of Science and the useful Arts.'" In addition, he stated, "the article 1 power and obligation to 'provide for the Common Defense,' relates directly to the geopolitical importance of space exploration at this frontier of human endeavor." He added:

The repeated hypocrisy of this President continues to astound. His campaign promises endorsed what he now proposes to cancel. His July celebration of the 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing now turns out to be just a photo op with the Apollo 11 crew. With one wave of a budget wand, the Congress, the NASA family, and the American people were asked to throw their sacrifices and achievements in space on the ash heap of history.

"How the mighty have fallen," he observed.

Schmitt explained that without the lunar program, any other focus for our national space policy will not be able to be implemented:

Some propose that we concentrate on Mars. Without the experience of returning to the Moon, however, we will not have the engineering, operational, or physiological insight for many decades, to either fly to Mars or land there.