Before Ted Cruz dropped a Cleveland steamer all over Trump's reality show orgy of egos, the Republican National Committee trotted out an astronaut to entertain its gaggle of Trumpkins and #NeverTrumpettes. That astronaut, Eileen Collins, reminded the ravenous bloodthisrty crowd of climate change-skeptics, Jesus freaks, and conspiracy theorists that 47 years ago to the day, three human beings piloted an intercontinental ballistic missile off of our planet, landed an ancillary skiff on our moon, then came back home in a little metal bucket. OK, not in one day. Wednesday was the anniversary of the actual Apollo 11 moon landing (or so They would have you believe).


Collins said we're a nation of pilgrims and explorers, and how our new robots could kick the shit out of Wall-E.

We landed on the moon to fulfill a leadership challenge and to explore. We know that exploration leads to inventions, innovation and discovery. For example, our successful robotic missions to Mars, Jupiter and Pluto have provided valuable information about our own planet

Blah, blah, blah, hurray for Velcro and microwaves! Get to the point, Space Lady!

But, in 2011, the space shuttle program ended. The last time the United States launched our own astronaut from our own soil was over five years ago. We must do better than that.

Oh shit, the nice Space Lady just dropped truth bomb on Planet Trump, and they didn't even try to lynch her! That's probably because it's only half-true, and the awful privateers who broke NASA's back were sitting amongst the ignorant flag-drapped yokels in attendance. Imagine that!

Right now, funding for the space program is less than 1% of the federal budget, and has fallen consistently almost every year since the height of the space program in the late 1960s, aside from a spike in the 1990s under a certain presidential candidate's husband who shall remain nameless.

Our extra-terrestrial pick-up truck known as the space shuttle was killed in 2004 by Decider in Chief, George W. Bush, who decided that we needed a new space exploratory vehicle as part of NASA'S Constellation Program. The space shuttle program was old, and NASA had some rather 21st Century ideas on how to fix it, but then the economy hemorrhaged and our Barry Bamz had no choice but to shelve the program because it was so under funded and scaled back that its target goals were impossible to meet. Instead of abandoning the space program, Bamz extended the life of the International Space Station, partnered with Russia's space program, and opened the doors for a private space industry. SpaceX sure hasn't complained.

Collins's little space walk of truthiness looked great in front of the cameras, but it hides the fact that Republicans have tried to defund NASA for years, primarily because those damn space nerds keep proving global warming actually exists.

First there was the sequestration that Ted Cruz (who is the chair of the Senate subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness) helped cause during his little Tea Party tantrum. This ultimately led to further cuts at NASA because people like Cruz think that NASA is infected with climate changing liberals, not PhDs who science the shit of the our planet every day. Next came huge cuts to NASA in the name of space exploration at the cost of NASA's earth mission, prompting Democratic Rep. Eddie Johnson of Texas to wrote lots of mean words to Congressional Republicans.

In addition to other problems in the bill, it cuts earth science funding by more than $320 million. Earth science, of course, includes climate science. Despite the fact that in January NASA announced 2014 was likely the warmest year since 1880, it should come as no surprise that the majority wants to cut funding for climate science. Embarrassingly, just last week, every single Republican member of this committee present voted against the notion that climate change might be caused by people.

Recently Republicans pushed through the SLS, known more commonly as the "Rocket to Nowhere" because it's a launch system that pulls funding from other programs, and conveniently keeps jobs in Congressional committee members districts. While the SLS is now being used as the platform to get Americans spreading our gun-loving freedom seeds on other planets, our first interstellar wars may never happen if were dead before humans can even make first contact with the Godless alien heathens.

It should be noted that Collins left the stage without technically endorsing Trump, although she did fire off less than ambiguous line at the end where she said she wanted America's SPACE program to be first again. Collins' did release a statement before the speech and noted that that she wasn't trying to be political in speaking at the convention.

"I understand the long range vision for the U.S. human spaceflight program is landing a human on Mars. I support that mission. I hope that first person is an American."

Huh. We thought that "space race" stuff was gone with the Cold War, as outdated as the Klingons standing in for the Rooshians, and we really would have preferred more of a "for all humankind" vibe, but at least she didn't say we had to get to Mars first so we can build an escape-proof jail for Hillary.

[ C-SPAN / WaPo ]

Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.

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