Spaceexploration has become a topic of interest in U.S. presidential debates for the first time in over 40 years.Seventeen individuals are running for president in the two major parties?primaries. Several of them have expressed opinions about space; but most, toour knowledge, have not spoken directly about space, or addressed it atall. Below are statements from the candidates and/or their campaigns.
?Therevolution in transportation will also affect foreign policy in the years tocome. I don't mean commercial space travel or the supersonic transport. Thereare limits to how fast or far we need to travel, especially whenteleconferencing lets us be ?face to face? without being ?in person.??
?The SenateForeign Relations Committee chairman warned on Sunday against fostering an armsrace in space after China was reported to have conducted an anti-satelliteweapons test?
??I don'tthink we should be overly worried about this at this point," Biden said."We have ways to deal with that ability.??
??One ofthe things we have to talk about is whether or not the, sort of, ideologicalbase notion about how we deal with space and weapons in space and the use ofweapons from space is something that is a path we should continue to follow,?he said.
??This isnot the direction we want to go, in escalating competition in space. And weshould be talking about it,? Biden said.?
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?Hillary willenhance American leadership in space, including:
- Pursuing an ambitious 21st century Space Exploration Program, by implementing a balanced strategy of robust human spaceflight, expanded robotic spaceflight, and enhanced space science activities.
- Developing a comprehensive space-based Earth Sciences agenda, including full funding for NASA?s Earth Sciences program and a space-based Climate Change Initiative that will help us secure the scientific knowledge we need to combat global warming.
- Promoting American leadership in aeronautics by reversing funding cuts to NASA?s and FAA?s aeronautics R&D budget.?
?As aChinese spacecraft is ready to head to the moon, the leading U.S. democratic presidential candidate, Sen. HillaryClinton (D-N.Y.), is calling for an increase in overall U.S. robotic exploration, but not necessarily mannedexploration of the moon.
?Ifelected, Sen. Clinton also promises:
- Development of increased robotic exploration missions.
- Development of ?a comprehensive space-based Earth sciences agenda, including full funding for NASA?s Earth sciences program and a space-based Climate Change Initiative that will help us secure the scientific knowledge we need to combat global warming.?
- Reversal of Bush administration ?funding cuts to NASA?s and FAA?s aeronautics R&D budget.?
Source: AerospaceDaily & Defense Report, October 29, 2007
?Senators Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman announced today thatthe National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will provide funds to Connecticut small businesses for research anddevelopment purposes. The technology projects were chosen based on innovationand scientific merit.
??Frombiotechnology to space exploration to energy innovation, Connecticut businesses continue to developbreakthroughs in science and technology,? said Dodd. ?Our small businesses arean important driving force of these industries, and the partnership betweenNASA and these companies will secure Connecticut?s reputation as a renowned leader in these fields.??
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?Formersenator JohnEdwards (N.C.),who is vying with Clinton and Obama for the Democratic nomination, said in astatement: ?We need a balanced space and aeronautics program. We need tosupport solar system exploration as an important goal for our human and roboticprograms, but only as one goal among several.??
?If elected President, how would you balance the scientificresearch at NASA with the manned spaceflight program which, arguably, hasdubious scientific value??
?I am astrong supporter of our space program. It reflects the best of the Americanspirit of optimism, discovery and progress. We need a balanced space andaeronautics program. We need to support solar system exploration as animportant goal for our human and robotic programs, but only as one goal amongseveral. And we need to invite other countries to share in a meaningful way inboth the adventure and the cost of space exploration.?
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[Nostatements about space by Mr. Gravel could be found].
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?When I was growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, John F. Kennedy was sworn in aspresident of the United States. And heexcited America with a vision of an America that could be. He urged everyAmerican to get an education in the sciences in particular so that we couldparticipate in this collaborate effort of reaching for the stars.
?We recognize that our journey is more homebound today, moreEarthbound. And so, as president of the United States, I would use the intellectual and scientific abilities thatexist in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to move America towards a green economy.
?There'stremendous amounts of research being done at NASA right now, particularly inthe area of carbonless burns, carbonless combustion. And it's amazing what ispossible today in America. When you think about NASA beingdedicated to creating green technologies, where we can call forth a world thatwe barely understand exists, but knowing the inventive genius thatcharacterizes America throughout our history, we can move towardssustainability using the inventive genius of NASA, where they can create theseproducts in the alpha stage and even license them in the beta stage to helpprime the pump of our economy and move quickly, create millions of new jobs.?
?Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) called the NASAAuthorization Act of 2005 a huge success for NASA Glenn and a big victory forthe Ohio delegation.
??This is ahuge success for NASA Glenn and the Cleveland-area, and a big victory for the Ohio Congressional delegation,? stated Kucinich. ?NASAGlenn is a premier research facility. Thanks to our efforts, this bill helpsensure that Glenn will remain an important part of NASA?s long-term plans. Thisis great news for NASA Glenn and our whole community.??
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?Barack Obama?searly education and K-12 plan package costs about $18 billion per year. He willmaintain fiscal responsibility and prevent any increase in the deficit byoffsetting cuts and revenue sources in other parts of the government. The earlyeducation plan will be paid for by delaying the NASA Constellation Program forfive years?
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?Richardson has compiled a list of more than adozen specific programs that can be cut, reduced, or delayed?
- $8 billion from scaling back the failing National Missile Defense program.
- $3 billion from eliminating the Pentagon's secret ?Space-Based Offensive Weapons' that both are redundant in terms of military capacity and will serve to cause a new arms race in space.?
Giuliani said the United States should prioritize energy independence much like it did thespace race, when Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B.Johnson fired up the gears of industry and imagination after the Soviet Union beat the U.S. into space.
The result was a bipartisan thrust to the moon thattranscended several presidencies and spawned a generation of national pride andscientific spin-offs.
?Politics aside and national interests first. Not only didit help us ultimately win the Cold War, it helped us in countless other ways,in scientific development and products,? Giuliani said.
?We can dothe same thing with energy independence. But we?ve got to have a president whoknows how to get things done.?
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In response to the following question: ?Is there a candidateamongst you willing to take a pledge on behalf of the Mars Society of sendingan American to the surface of Mars by 2020? If not, what is your vision forhuman space exploration??
?Whether we ought to go to Mars is not a decision that Iwould want to make, but I would certainly want to make sure that we expand thespace program, because every one of us who are sitting here tonight have ourlives dramatically improved because there was a space program — whether it'sthese screens that we see or the incredible electronics that we use, includingthe GPS systems that got many of you to this arena tonight.
?Some of you were late because you didn't have one, by theway. Or whether it's the medical technologies that saved many of our lives orthe lives or our families, it's the direct result of the space program, and weneed to put more money into science and technology and exploration.
?Now,whether we need to send somebody to Mars, I don't know. But I'll tell you what:If we do, I've got a few suggestions, and maybe Hillary could be on the firstrocket to Mars.?
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??China?s successful engagement of asatellite orbiting in space marks the commencement of a new era of militarycompetition,? said Congressman Hunter. ?American military forces are dependenton information gathered from U.S. spaceassets and the capability to engage these resources represents a significantthreat to our nation?s military power.
??China?s actions and continued efforts toadvance its technological capabilities require that all Department of Defenseprograms intended to preserve America?sspace assets be reviewed for adequacy. Further, new programs to strengthen theprotection, redundancy and reconstitution of U.S. space assets must be made essential. It is critical that wetake these steps now to ensure our forces cannot be targeted through anadversarial space strike.??
?Congressmen Hunter and Everett sent a letter to PresidentBush advising that a review of space programs within the Defense Department beinitiated. Text of the letter follows:
?Dear President Bush,
?China?s recent test of an anti-satellitemissile, destroying a satellite in low earth orbit, marks the commencement of anew era of military competition in space. The dependency of American warfightingcapability, and the economy, on space assets compels our nation to take thenecessary steps to ensure our forces cannot be targeted through an adversarialspace strike.
?Space capabilities are integral to the daily execution ofvirtually every military campaign, operation, and exercise involving U.S. forces today. Therefore, a review of Departmentof Defense programs intended to preserve American space assets iswarranted. Further, new programs which provide protection, redundancy, andreconstitution of space assets should be essential.
?Mr.President, it is important that substantial efforts are made now to avoidtechnological surprise. I look forward to working with you to strengthenour capabilities to protect America?sspace assets.?
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?Q:Should taxpayers continue to fund NASA, or should it move to the privatesector??
?A: They should continue to fund these programs. When we opened up our frontiers,the Lewis & Clark Expedition and so forth, those were not privately fundedmatters. Our Founders considered exploring this great continent to be one ofthe important functions of government. And we should as a community sustain ourcommitment to develop the great frontier [of space] for the sake of humanity,not just for our own sake.?
?Space exploration has a spiritual component which we may be losingsight of. As a people we need continually to have before us the truth that ourpotential is best realized when we are challenging ourselves to reach for thosethings that transcend our everyday needs and desires and passions and commit usto the kind of endeavors that have importance not only for us, but for futuregenerations. I think space exploration is one of those and I would support itstrongly.?
?Keyes supports the following spending levels: ?
- Slightly Increase Funding
- Scientific research?
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?When askedabout their candidates' positions on the moon-Mars project, a spokeswoman forSen. John McCain (Ariz.) did not respond.?
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?Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate and commend thedesigners, builders, sponsors, and pilot of SpaceShipOne on the occasion of itssuccessful flight out of earth?s atmosphere on June 21, 2004. What is most remarkable about SpaceShipOne, of course, isthat it is the first privately-financed and privately built vehicle to leavethe Earth?s atmosphere?
?Theirsuccess should also be read as a cautionary tale for all of us in government.If only the United States had a taxation policy that limited government andthereby freed up more private capital, there is no telling how many more likeBurt Rutan, Paul Allen, and Michael Melvill would be able to do great things tothe benefit all of mankind. This not just in space exploration, but in medicalresearch, alternative energy research, and any number of the problems thatcontinue to perplex mankind. Private enterprise depends on results and successand therefore private capital is always targeted much more wisely than ismonies confiscated by governments.?
?Ron Paulconsistently opposes taxpayer funding for NASA?
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?Former Massachusettsgovernor MittRomney's campaign responded by providing an article from the Florida Todaynewspaper that said: ?During the first campaign visit to the Space Coast by a2008 presidential candidate, Republican Mitt Romney said he supports Bush?svision for space exploration and has no reason yet to propose a newdirection.??
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Inresponse to the same question answered by Mike Huckabee:
?The question is a serious one and it deserves a seriousanswer, and that is this: Look, we've been -- how many times up here, how manyquestions have dealt with the issue of deficit spending, the debt out ofcontrol? And yet, we have somebody saying, ?But would you spend more money ongoing to Mars??
?And thesuggestion that we need to spend more money on space exploration. This is it,folks. That's why we have such incredible problems with our debt, becauseeverybody's trying to be everything to all people.
?We can'tafford some things, and by the way, going to Mars is one of them.?
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- ?Complete the modernization of the U.S. Air Force to ensure continued tactical air dominance over all potential adversaries and the ability to project power globally.
- Ensure tactical and strategic air/space superiority over every battlefield and the U.S. ?
- Develop robust Missile Defenses to protect the homeland, deployed forces, and allies against ballistic missiles of all ranges in all phases of flight.
- Field a layered, multi-tiered missile defense architecture that includes land-, sea-, and space-based components.
- Support the development and testing of advanced missile defense technologies to address the complexity of foreign ballistic missile inventories.
- Promote international collaboration in all missile defense efforts, to include cooperation in joint development and production with friends and allies.?
?We wereable to get those things done. I also took a leadership role in the passage ofthe homeland security bill, and blocked export control legislation that wouldhave allowed the sale of our sensitive technology to unreliable countries.?
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BartLeahy is a technical writer living in Alabama.