(Image Credit: New Hampshire Primary)
With Senator Obama recently announcing a plan to delay the Constellation program by five years, many space enthusiasts have been wondering whether or not the Vision for Space Exploration will survive beyond President Bush.
While Obama has opted to slash NASA's budget to help fund the education bureaucracy, Senator Hillary Clinton, former Governor Mitt Romney and former Senator John Edwards are all promising to help maintain America's edge in the global space race.
(Washington Post) Asked for a response, Clinton spokesman Isaac Baker said, "Senator Clinton does not support delaying the Constellation program and intends to maintain American leadership in space exploration." [...]
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's campaign responded by providing an article from the Florida Today newspaper that said: "During the first campaign visit to the Space Coast by a 2008 presidential candidate, Republican Mitt Romney said he supports Bush's vision for space exploration and has no reason yet to propose a new direction." [...]
Former senator John Edwards (N.C.), who is vying with Clinton and Obama for the Democratic nomination, said in a statement: "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."
While space enthusiasts probably have little influence compared to Christians, gun rights advocates and environmentalists, they can help influence the election by encouraging their friends to support pro-space candidates.
If America is to actually lead the world in pioneering the final frontier, then it will definitely require a partnership between NASA and NewSpace (aka the private space industry). Regardless of who gets in office, the next decade could easily determine which nation impacts our star system for the next millennium.
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