NASA is the latest of several U.S. federal agencies to adopt the tenets of critical race theory, announcing this week its new “mission” to erase racism within its ranks of astronauts, astrophysicists and engineers. The agency’s decision to promote “equity” in its space program moving forward prompted criticism on social media as critics said it was promoting what amounted to “critical space theory.”
NASA’s so-called “Mission Equity” is branded as “a comprehensive effort to assess expansion and modification of agency programs, procurements, grants, and policies, and examine what potential barriers and challenges exist for communities that are historically underrepresented and underserved,” according to the agency.
“NASA is a 21st-century agency with 22nd-century goals. To be successful, it’s critical that NASA takes a comprehensive approach to address the challenges to equity we see today,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement on the agency’s website. “The agency’s new Mission Equity is a bold and necessary challenge for NASA to ensure our programs are accessible to all Americans and, especially, those living in historically underserved communities across the country. Because when NASA opens doors to talent previously left untapped, the universe is the limit.”
The Daily Wire reports that NASA released a public request for information to complement its goals, titled “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Undeserved Communities in NASA Programs, Contracts, and Grants,” to ask for feedback on any “potential barriers” to minority involvement in the space program.
The agency also asked for suggestions on how it can better pursue an agenda that promotes racial and environmental justice.
In particular, the agency is requesting feedback from “Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.”
“NASA is getting ready to send astronauts to explore more of the Moon as part of the Artemis program, and the agency has selected SpaceX to continue development of the first commercial human lander that will safely carry the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface. At least one of those astronauts will make history as the first woman on the Moon. Another goal of the Artemis program includes landing the first person of color on the lunar surface,” NASA said.