Frank Sietzen: April 2009 Archives

FL Senator Pushing To Delay Shuttle Retirement
Sun, 19 Apr '09
Seeking To Protect Thousands Of Aerospace Industry Jobs

Florida Senator Bill Nelson, a former Space Shuttle astronaut himself, is working toward extending the shuttle program to protect thousands of jobs in his state that would likely be jeopardized by the programs' planned retirement at the end of 2010.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Nelson, a Democrat, feels that the 2010 deadline is an arbitrary date, rather than one timed to accomplish all nine remaining missions. The senator said a more realistic goal would be to complete those missions "and finish the international space station before shutting operations down," without the pressure of a rigid timetable..."

Senator Nelson flew as a Payload Specialist while a Congressman aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in January, 1986. While he himself rarely uses the term, he does nothing to dissuade the news media and others from referring to him as a "former astronaut". Readers, do you think Nelson was an astronaut?

Oiling the Wheels

Frank's Note: Check out this report on federal campaign contributions for last year's campaign cycle at Open Secrets

Honeywell lead the defense/aerospace sector with a total contributions of $2.5 million. Lockheed was right behind at $1.6 million and Boeing in third place at $1.3 million. Interestingly enough, their contributions were almost evenly divided between Dems and the GOP, with Dems slightly ahead in the dollars donated. Of course, from the perspective of the aerospace giants, this just makes good (political) sense. But how do readers think change will come about if the status quo is so well represented?



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