June 27, 2012
Did you know that Voyager, a 1970’s-era American spacecraft, has traveled farther from Earth than any other man-made object? It was back-page news.
But you may have heard recently that China successfully launched its fourth manned space mission.
NASA is respected the world over, yet it simply under utilizes its international credibility.
The final frontier is an excellent way for the United States to demonstrate its strength to potential rivals. “Given that space is emblematic of national power, the U.S. should reinvigorate its public space efforts,” Heritage Foundation expert Dean Cheng explains.
During the Cold War, the space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union helped ignite Americans’ sense of patriotism. Today, the space program can again reinvigorate our sense of pride.
China is utilizing its space program to the utmost for propaganda purposes, Cheng says:
In the PRC, space is seen not only as an arena for industrial policy but as a diplomatic and public relations tool. By contrast, NASA has a level of name recognition and positive association known the world over, but it underutilizes it. NASA’s products are a regular refutation of the claim of American decline and should be used as such.
NASA, in other words, can and should be used to bolster America’s image overseas (and even to galaxies far, far away).
Do you think NASA can help to reinvigorate Americans’ national pride and rebuild our image abroad?