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Obama & NASA update

Started by kmichaelm, 08/27/2008 01:07PM
Posted 08/27/2008 01:07PM Opening Post

Obama commits to moon mission, additional shuttle flight

posted by David Collins on Aug 16, 2008 11:07:55 PM

Sentinel Space Editor

CAPE CANAVERAL — Sen. Barack Obama released a comprehensive space policy Saturday that endorsed sending astronauts back to the moon by 2020 as a possible precursor for going to Mars — the first time he’s committed to that goal — and said the reach for the stars should be a U.S.-led international effort.

"Human exploration beyond low-earth orbit should be a long-term goal and investment for all space-faring countries, with America in the lead," the policy paper said.

The paper promises funding for an additional flight after the space shuttle’s planned retirement in 2010 and to "expedite" development of a successor. But beyond promising funding to "minimize" the gap until a new rocket flies — now not scheduled until 2015 — the plan makes no specific financial commitment.

Posted 08/27/2008 01:22PM | Edited 08/27/2008 01:25PM #1

McCain bashes Obama on NASA
Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor August 18, 2008 01:34 PM

John McCain opened a new front today to bash Democratic rival Barack Obama, accusing him of straddling on cutting the space program.

Last year in New Hampshire, Obama suggested delaying NASA's mission to Mars to help fund education improvements. But earlier this month in Florida, he appeared to back away from any NASA cuts.

Today at a business roundtable at the Astronaut Planetarium at Brevard Community College in Cocoa Beach, Florida, McCain pledged to keep space exploration a top national priority.

"I know that earlier this year, Senator Obama proposed cutting the NASA budget and delaying the timetable for our return to the Moon and the Mars mission," McCain said, according to prepared remarks released by his campaign. "I believe that he later repudiated his own plan. Sometimes it is difficult to know what a politician will actually do once in office, because they say different things at different times to different people. This is a particular problem when a candidate has a short, thin record on the issues as in the case of Senator Obama.

"Let me say, just in case Senator Obama does decide to return to his original plan of cutting NASA funding – I oppose such cuts," McCain added. "That position is a shortsighted approach that fails to recognize the benefits of space exploration and the technology and economic advantages that result from the space program."


McCain to Bush: Keep Space Shuttle Options Open
By Brian Berger

Space News Staff Writer
posted: 26 August 2008 07:17 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Acknowledging that a NASA authorization bill is unlikely to be enacted this year, three Republican senators – including presidential candidate John McCain (R-Ariz.) – have written President George W. Bush imploring him to direct NASA to hold off for at least a year taking any action that would preclude the agency from flying space shuttles beyond 2010.

McCain, joined by Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and David Vitter (R-La.), also cited Russia's recent military incursion into neighboring Georgia earlier this month as evidence that Russia's continued cooperation on the international space station program should not be taken for granted.

Once the space shuttle is retired, Russia stands to possess the only means of transporting astronauts to and from the space station until the shuttle's successor – the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and Ares 1 launcher – comes on line around 2015.

Russia has agreed to fly U.S. astronauts to the station through 2011 when a temporary exemption from a non-proliferation law barring NASA from making space station-related payments to Russia is due to expire.