Neil Armstrong says NASA is embarrassing

The first man to step on the surface of the moon was Neil Armstrong. He's not happy with NASA and the current state of our space program. Armstrong was a part of a four-member panel of experts that addressed lawmakers in Washington and he pulled no punches. Armstrong said that NASA is embarrassing. He points to the retirement of the space shuttle fleet before America had a way to get itself into orbit as the major issue with NASA today.

Armstrong thinks that NASA needs a stronger vision for the future and needs to return focus to getting Americans back into space. It will be years before the replacement for the space shuttle fleet is ready and America can't send astronauts into space without help from other countries, specifically Russia. NASA is depending on Russia to get astronauts back into space aboard its Soyuz spacecraft.

Recently a Soyuz spacecraft failed to reach orbit after some sort of failure. A problem with the spacecraft that lead to the inability to enter orbit would leave the US grounded. The last man to walk on the moon, Eugene Cernan called for NASA to bring the space shuttles out of retirement to fill the gap until the replacement was ready.

Armstrong said:

"We will have no American access to, and return from, low Earth orbit and the International Space Station for an unpredictable length of time in the future," Armstrong told the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

"For a country that has invested so much for so long to achieve a leadership position in space exploration and exploitation, this condition is viewed by many as lamentably embarrassing and unacceptable."

[via Discovery]