For Some, No Moon Trip Means No Job

People who work or live near the Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake have lots to say about the President’s decision to cancel a return trip to the moon. Bill Stamps spent the day in the area and has this report.


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It’s been almost forty years since we last went to the moon and it appears we wont’ be going back anytime soon. The Constellation program was eliminated from the President’s proposed budget and now people like Lilly Johnson may have to start sending out résumés.

“I’m looking for a new job (laugh).”

Lilly has actually known for some time her days are numbered. That’s because she’s one of the controllers that helps launch the space shuttle. The shuttle’s last mission is this year.

“I think it’s more a shock for the Constellation people than the shuttle people. I mean we’ve been — unless congress changes things and decides to fly shuttle longer — we’re all in the same position of changing our future. But the Constellation people — Orion — I don’t think expected to get cancelled completely.”

NASA will actually get six billion more dollars in the next five years…its just that the money won’t be used to send a man to the moon. Geologist Katie Robinson who lives near Johnson Space Center is a little bummed.

“So I’m a little disappointed that we’re not going to have any new moon rocks, but hopefully in the future. I think people are worried. Some of the people working on constellation are worried about their jobs. I heard rumors of engineers being worried about it.”

Another resident who says his name is Barry, doesn’t like the president’s decision one bit.

“I think it’s a mistake because I think there’s a whole lot of corollary benefits that we get out of the space program that people don’t know about. I think if they probably publicized that, did more to let people know what it really coming, the benefits that each individual actually sees from that, there’s be a whole lot more interest in that.”

Lilly Johnson who helps launch space shuttles, says ending the moon program isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for an administration that’s trying to create jobs. This action seems counterproductive.

“We produce the most educated people with regards to jobs and then we pay all of these people to do things to help us keep working. Right now, I have a painter at my house who I’m paying, but if I’m unemployed I’ll paint my own house type thing.”

And now she and others in the area may find themselves selling their homes.

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