Apollo Astronauts Attack Obama’s NASA Plan

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Neil A. Armstrong, the most famous man in the history of NASA and the first man to walk on the moon, on Wednesday sharply criticized President Obama’s plan to cancel the space agency’s program to send astronauts back to the moon.

“If the leadership we have acquired through our investment is allowed simply to fade away, other nations will surely step in where we have faltered,” Mr. Armstrong said in testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “I do not believe that would be in our best interests.”

Mr. Armstrong; Eugene A. Cernan, the commander of Apollo 17 and the last man to walk on the moon; and James A. Lovell Jr., the commander of Apollo 13, wrote a letter last month that called the proposed changes to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration “devastating.”

Mr. Cernan also testified on Wednesday. He told the senators that the three men had carefully chosen the words in the letter: “slide to mediocrity” and “third-rate stature.”

“We did not want to be misunderstood nor did we want to be misinterpreted,” Mr. Cernan said....

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