As former President Barack Obama reduced emphasis on space exploration during his administration, we were among those warning of the danger of doing away with a self-contained program. Too much reliance on Russia and other nations to handle space-related tasks could be dangerous, we warned.
Ask the British about that.
A referendum in that nation resulted in the decision that Great Britain will pull out of the European Union. That has enormous ramifications, many of them economic.
Now, EU officials are telling the British their pullout means they will have only limited access to the multi-billion-dollar Galileo satellite navigation system and its security-sensitive information.
British officials, who helped develop Galileo, are furious. They should be.
But their experience should serve as a lesson to Americans: Relying on other countries for critical aspects of our space program can be dangerous, both economically and in terms of national security.