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Sunday, January 06, 2008


On this side of the pond the US Presidential race is looking interesting but we hear far more about what gender/colour/religious conviction everybody is than the boring stuff about actual policies. Well tough. Policies are what are inside the box. Everything else, no matter how colourful, is just the advertising.

Being particularly interested in Space, a subject which crosses party lines, on which original thought is both allowed & needed & which is going to be vital to the future of us all when the Iraq war will be merely a historical footnote, I checked out this link.

Hilary will produce a "space-based Climate Change Initiative", more robot programmes & reverse Bush's funding cuts of NASA". So she has an interest in the subject & would spend more but in the wrong ways & for a politically correct reason

Edwards "I am a strong supporter of our space program. It reflects the best of the American spirit of optimism, discovery and progress. We need a balanced space and aeronautics program. We need to support solar system exploration as an important goal for our human and robotic programs, but only as one goal among several. And we need to invite other countries to share in a meaningful way in both the adventure and the cost of space exploration." So considerable interest & I agree about international involvement but nothing really specific

Obama "He will maintain fiscal responsibility and prevent any increase in the deficit by offsetting cuts and revenue sources in other parts of the government. The early education plan will be paid for by delaying the NASA Constellation Program for five years" Now I approve of fiscal responsibility, Bush has spent 8 years kiting cheques & I think NASA is a waste of money so i can't actually disagree with this but he really doesn't have anything positive to say (eg X-Prizes

Guiliani says "Not only did it help us ultimately win the Cold War, it helped us in countless other ways, in scientific development and products. We can do the same thing with energy independence. But we've got to have a president who knows how to get things done." which seems quite sensible & shows an interest in space, but again no actual proposals, though energy independence, if he means it seriously, must include nuclear & probably solar power satellites

Huckabee says "Whether we ought to go to Mars is not a decision that I would want to make, but I would certainly want to make sure that we expand the space program, because every one of us who are sitting here tonight have our lives dramatically improved because there was a space program — whether it's these screens that we see or the incredible electronics that we use, including the GPS systems that got many of you to this arena tonight.Some of you were late because you didn't have one, by the way. Or whether it's the medical technologies that saved many of our lives or the lives or our families, it's the direct result of the space program, and we need to put more money into science and technology and exploration." The first bit is not well phrased because he is running for the job that does involve making that decision (my opinion is that Mars should not be the immediate aim - cheap space access should). Nonetheless he is quite correct in understanding the importance of space, but again has no actual proposals.

Hunter, as a Congressman wrote to Bush about the vital importance of not being outclassed by China, though largely on a military rather than industrial basis.

McCain "When asked ... did not respond." Well screw him

Romney supports Bush's vision for space exploration and has no reason yet to propose a new direction". So nothing then

And the winner & champeen

Ron Paul "Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate and commend the designers, builders, sponsors, and pilot of SpaceShipOne on the occasion of its successful flight out of earth's atmosphere on June 21, 2004. What is most remarkable about SpaceShipOne, of course, is that it is the first privately-financed and privately built vehicle to leave the Earth's atmosphere."
& "Ron Paul consistently opposes taxpayer funding for NASA"
The guy has not only heard of Spaceship One but understands it. There is no promise that NASA funds, or even 10% of them which would be enough give America the solar system, will be put into X-Prizes but you can't have everything.

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