Former Advisory Council member discusses the questionable future of NASA’s budget
HUNTSVILLE,Ala. – We are definitely in the midst of a presidential election, and there is a long way to go until people go to the ballot box. One of the things that is of vital interest around here, and also important for the nation is what happens to NASA when the new president is elected? Who ever that president might be. This week former NASA Advisory Council member Mark McDaniel stopped by WHNT News 19 to give his perspective on concerns about NASA’s future.
With NASA being so close to home, this is a subject that is on our minds quite often. Our Alabama state senators and congressmen fight for the space budget and the possibility that it will disappear is very real. “Well, you’re always concerned.” says Mark McDaniel, “After I served three terms on the Advisory Council I was the senior adviser for Congressman Bart Gordon who was head of the Science Committee. I served on the Executive Branch with the NASA Advisory council and the congressional part as adviser for the science committee, so yes, I am concerned. Back in the day during the Apollo program, during those days 5.7% of the nation’s budget was spent on NASA. We had a mission, we had a goal, we had a dream. This is a nation of pioneers. Now it’s less than a half percent. NASA is currently the lowest funded agency in within the government. However, thank goodness we have Senators Shelby and Jeff Sessions, Congressmen Aderholt and Mo Brooks. People that will fight for these issues, but there are a lot of senators and congressmen who don’t have NASA centers in their state or their district, and they’re more interested in building prisons and roads instead of NASA projects. If we keep telling members of Congress that if they keep just treading water, they’re going nowhere. This administration will go down.
View our entire conversation with NASA Advisory Council member Mark McDaniel here in three parts: