NASA Is Clearly Underfunded [Opinion]
In a recent message to lawmakers, NASA Chief Charles Bolden said that there was something that we could all do if an asteroid was headed our way. That thing can be summed up in one word, "Pray."
All of this is in the shadow of the meteorite hit in Russia that injured people and caused damage and showed us some dramatic footage of what it would look like if it happened here.
In situations like this, we need to have NASA on our side doing more than just wish and hope that things don't happen. NASA seems to be a target for spending cuts and what really should be done is have them well funded while other things see the budget ax.
NASA currently has nothing that can get us to space. The shuttle fleet has been mothballed and replaced with space hitchhiking with the Russians to get to the space station that we largely built. We can't get our own guys there and the next thing that NASA has planned is an unmanned test flight next year. The year 2017 will hold the next flight, which will also be unmanned. The first manned mission of the Orion program will take place after that mission, but no date has been attached. Think about this, the 45th President of the United States will have been in office for half of his or her first term before NASA can get to space again.
The time has come to get NASA back to where they were. Once this was a program that gave us heroes like Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and others. This was a program that gave us the Apollo missions and a shuttle program that was so revolutionary that the Russians felt the need to copy it with their Buran shuttle (which never actually went anywhere beyond a test flight).
NASA right now is a shell of it's former glory and if this is the outfit that we have to not only explore space, but protect us from anything that could be coming our way, we need to make sure that they get exactly what they need to get back to space and get the technology to protect us, in case of situations like that.