Those familiar words were first spoken by John Swigert, Jr while on the ill fated Apollo 13 mission. Unfortunately it seems that they are still alive and well within the NASA. organization.

NASA has announced long term plans of establishing a permanent outpost on the Moon and manned missions to Mars. The costs associated with these endeavors are enormous and it is the taxpayer who ultimately bank rolls NASA.

CNN are running an interesting piece about the problem. It seems that NASA is worried about their image with the younger 18-25, instant messaging, iPod toting generation. It is this generation who as taxpayers are going to be funding these future projects.

Unfortunately this younger generation seems to care little about the prospect of seeing a man on Mars. Without their support NASA fears that the ‘man in the street’ support will be lacking, there by making it difficult if not impossible to get the government funding it requires.

NASA’s mission is clear, make space cool again! There are a number of ideas being discussed, from You-Tube segments to enlisting the help of Star Trek actors.

Somehow over the years NASA has lost the younger generation. I have always been a space junkie, I was 14 when Neil Armstrong uttered those words “One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. I was living in England at the time, and I stayed up all night to watch the grainy black and white TV pictures.

I for one hope that NASA can turn this generation around, because space is cool!

Simon Barrett

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