US spends more on pizzas than on space missions: Ex-NASA astronaut

Slamming President Barack Obama for trimming the budget for space missions,former NASA astronaut Marsha S Ivins today said the US government spent more on pizzas than on space programmes.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:May 4, 2012 6:18 am

Slamming President Barack Obama for trimming the budget for space missions,former NASA astronaut Marsha S Ivins today said the US government spent more on pizzas than on space programmes.

“We don’t spend a lot of money on space programmes. In the US we spend more on pizzas every year than on our entire space programme,” she said.

She was speaking at a programme organised by the US consulate General this evening.

“Decisions on space programme are political. It depends on the political party which is in power to decide on the budget of space missions.” said Ivnis while interacting with city students.

She added that the US spends 6/10th of the budget on space programmes,which is minimal,she maintained.

“The amount may sound large but if you compare it with the spending on other sectors its relatively small.”

The veteran of five space missions pointed out that future space missions should be aimed at Moon because it takes three days to go there and it would be easier to reach Mars from Moon.

Ivins joined NASA in July 1974 and worked as an engineer till 1980,when she was assigned as a flight engineer on the Shuttle Training Aircraft (aircraft operations) and a co-pilot in the Nasa administrative aircraft (Gulfstream-1). She described it as the biggest moment in her career. “Being selected as an astronaut after working for six years was perhaps my biggest moment at Nasa. In subsequent years,I participated in many more spaceflights. Each occasion was special for me,”added Ivins.

Between 1990 and 2001,Ivins took part in five space explorations and spent 55 days in all in space.

So what was the scariest moment in space? “Each moment was scary as there was always a fear of making mistakes. If you make even a single mistake,you’ll go down in history as the person who made ‘the’ mistake. I managed to end my career without any such mistake,” Ivins said. Any disappointment? “I could never go beyond earth’s orbit,” she said.

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