Thursday, September 27, 2012

Space and Politics Revisited:Obama and Romney on the Subject of Space Exploration

From the pages of the Orlando Sentinel Opinions Sections

Our take: Romney and Obama space plans

Empty spaces

With Florida once again considered a must-win state in this year's presidential race, space policy is finally lifting off as an issue for the candidates. Some coincidence, huh?
Last week at the University of Central Florida, Mitt Romney running mate Paul Ryan vowed the U.S. would remain the world's "unequivocal leader" in space. Romney's campaign issued a policy statement promising he'd make space a priority as president, but it included few details.
Ryan rightly declared that the U.S. space program needs a clear mission — ironic, because the policy statement didn't offer one.

Meanwhile, President Obama's campaign gave him credit for the burgeoning commercial space industry, the Mars rover mission and a long-term plan for deep-space exploration. All positives, but each falls short of securing U.S. space leadership.
Leaked documents from NASA indicated that the agency is seeking White House support to build and locate a new orbiting outpost that would serve as a staging area for future deep-space missions. But key details in this plan also are missing, starting with its cost.
Floridians, who have seen the state lose thousands of space jobs, should be hopeful but skeptical about the candidates' proposals. In 2008, Obama vowed to narrow the gap between the end of the shuttle and the next manned program. After he was elected, he canceled the next program and replaced it with another one that will probably widen the gap.
Voters who consider space a national priority should demand details from both campaigns.

OK GCSFN blog readers,what's your take on the subject?

Past GCSFN blog posts on politics and space exploration:
space x's-success-and-politics-who-gets-the credit?

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