Fox News ran a special called “Surrendering America” on March 28, 2014 which examined several areas which, in its view, the United States is surrendering its power by choice. One of the segments, narrated by Neil Cavuto, bemoaned the current state of the American space program. The theme was a familiar one, a contrast between beating the Russians to the moon in the 1960s to begging them for rides into space now. The panel that commented on the subject seemed to agree, though the venerable George Will was the lone dissenter.
Will seemed to suggest that human space flight is not needed, that robotic space probes could return sufficient science, citing the Mars rovers as an example. In this Will’s well know ability to offer well researched, erudite opinions seems to have escaped him. He has clearly not read the British Royal Astronomical Society’s human space flight report, for example.
To be fair Will also criticized the famous Bolden “mission to the Muslims” gaffe and the report, sponsored by NASA, that concluded that civilization is doomed unless it stops using too many resources. He also seemed to approve of the Apollo program as a means to demonstrate the superiority of the United States to the Soviet Union.