And for Congress to appropriate the funds needed for NASA to achieve its important work including space flight to Mars in the 2030s and other planetary research and scientific discoveries bettering mankind.
In an exclusive interview on my Herald Radio show yesterday NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told me he supports the president’s plan to expand the U.S. military to include a Space Force 100%.
“Space has elevated the human condition in ways that most people don’t know,” Bridenstine said. “The way we communicate and I talked about Dish Network, Direct TV, internet broadband from space, XM Radio, the way we navigate, GPS. But GPS isn’t just used for navigation, of course traffic on the roads but also airplanes. It’s also used for timing. The timing signals from GPS is used for every banking transaction in the United States of America. In other words, if there’s no GPS timing signal, there’s no banking in our country.
“But GPS timing signals are also used to regulate the flows of electricity on the power grid, to regulate the flows of data on terrestrial wireless networks in other words, cellphones. So GPS is critically important. So the way we communicate, the way we navigate, the way we produce food in this country using space technology, we’re increasing crop yields, decreasing water use and feeding more of the world than ever before,” Bridenstine said. “The way we produce energy, the way we do national security and defense, which is a huge piece of what we do in Space. The way we do disaster relief, the way we predict weather. All of these things are very, very dependent on space.”
Bridenstine said space is critically important not just to the U.S. but to all of humanity, and emphasized how vital it is to protect space from foreign enemies as a matter of national security.
“Space is the American Achilles Heal. If they can destroy space, they will bring America to her knees. If you can take out banking in our country there’s no milk in the grocery store within 3 days. If you can take out the grid, then it’s an existential threat. It needs to be protected.”
When I asked the NASA Administrator if an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) strike against America’s power grid in space by a foreign enemy is a far-fetched fear, he said absolutely not.
“There is no doubt an EMP attack is a very real threat and not just from North Korea but from other countries as well. And we need to do what is necessary to defend our nation and prevent that from happening.”
All the more reason the president should urge Congress to green light whatever funds are necessary to build a Space Force as a matter of national security.
No doubt Jim Bridenstine, a former Navy combat pilot now leading NASA, is the right man for the job.