By Joseph Gillin
Excitement has been growing for the launch of Artemis I at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, scheduled for Monday morning, August 29 at 8:33 AM (though don’t be surprised if weather or technical issues cause delays). This launch (uncrewed) is a test flight of some of the hardware that will return humans to the Moon within a few years.
After several fits and starts over the decades and several administrations since the Apollo program implemented the goal of Pres. JFK for the US to land astronauts on the Moon within a decade, the Artemis program was approved by Pres. Trump and championed by VP Mike Pence and NASA Admin. Jim Bridenstine (a former GOP Rep. from Oklahoma). This is one Trump initiative that Pres. Biden has allowed to proceed.
The massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket was actually mandated years earlier by an act of Congress. It is controversial even within the space community because of its high cost and lengthy delays. (The political history of the SLS is described at https://tinyurl.com/bddphbrm). Because of its high cost, the SLS will likely be gracefully retired in a few years as commercial heavy lift rockets come on line. The SpaceX Starship vehicle is already contracted to be the system that will take the astronauts from lunar orbit down to the surface and back on the first human landing mission.
Controversy or not, this week’s launch is generating excitement and national pride. Hotels in central Florida are booked and local officials are planning for traffic gridlock.
Most residents of Maryland don’t realize how much of a role this state plays in the space industry. The Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes, along with other Earth and space science missions, were developed and are operated out of Maryland centers. One thing that Sen. Barbara Mikulski got right was recognizing that, in proportion to population, Maryland is as much of a leading space state as Florida, Texas, California, etc. (GOP candidates and elected officials, take note!) Thousands of Maryland residents work at various government, industry, and academic facilities involved in space. The growing NASA and commercial activities at the Wallops Island spaceport near Chincoteague, VA have a positive economic impact on the Maryland eastern shore. Families will even have more frequent opportunities to combine viewing a space launch up close with an Ocean City vacation!
So, even if I’m not in Florida this week, I’ll figuratively hang a note that says “Out to Launch”. If the Artemis I launch hasn’t already occurred by the time you read this article, you can watch it live at https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive.
Joseph Gillin is former Party Secretary of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee, a former Lockheed associate and long time advocate for manned space exploration.
After a well fought Republican primary, the voters have chosen Dan Cox and Gordana Schifanelli as their Governor and Lieutenant Governor team. Every Republican must support them in the face of a far-left WOKE and well-financed “progressive” ticket of Wes Moore and Aruna Miller.
Moore and Miller want to turn Maryland into a poster for far left ideas. Put public safety on the back burner, defund and disrespect the police, continue support for masking, opening us up to vaccine passports and continued Zoom schooling of our kids. They propagate the heightening of racial tensions and gender confusion in our schools and continued rhetoric in the business community that will cost us jobs.
While Moore wants to use the office for national attention, Miller wants to use it for equity, radical transformative programs to make us the envy of our decaying west coast. They feel no qualms about the decline of public safety, prosperity, wage growth and educational excellence. They will just redefine and reimagine to suit their agenda.
But there’s another way - as our neighbors in Virginia have shown in electing Glenn Youngkin and Winsome Sears - we too can reverse this trend. The majority of Marylanders also want a less radical, center-right approach. Folks who’ve arrived to join our country from all over the world know that what we have is best, and they all know why they left their rapidly failing countries.
We have the chance in our Montgomery County to catch our breath, halt the slide to the decaying left, and vote for Republican candidates across the board. All of Maryland is counting on us. We have a duty to secure our values and blessings of our liberty. Through our elected representatives we, together, have to ensure equal rights under the law for all Marylanders regardless of anyone’s race, gender or national origin. Our values are universal. Our candidates are not extreme, no matter what some say.
As one people under God, it is our sole responsibility to ensure that dangerous progressive ideologies do not destroy what our forefathers fought to secure. Your participation in the General Election is essential. Your vote for all Republican candidates up and down the ticket is essential. Our children cannot afford that we lose this election, and we must do everything in our power to mobilize every freedom-loving person regardless of their race, religion, or party affiliation. We need your vote.
The Republican Party of Montgomery County, Maryland
I am a pharmacist currently self-employed as a small business owner and President of
Dr. Nice Products LLC. I'm blessed to be the father of six and grandfather of 11.
I am running for Legislative District 19 Delegate in Montgomery County. I am a healthcare and
family activist who has spent five (5) decades as a pharmacist working with underserved families
on issues that cut across numerous areas of family life. I have been on the ground in Haiti 24
times serving the poorest of the poor. Twenty-five years ago, I began an orphanage and a K-13
school in Haiti, which I continue to fund and support to this day. More than 550 students each
and every year are helped with housing, food, safety, and an education. It is a true joy to have
watched almost 1,230 grow, mature, and graduate to have a chance of a healthy and relevant life.
Many now give back to their same Haitian community.