Last Minute Space Policy Plea

29 October 2004: Glenn's take on Kerry was way off the mark, Florida Today, Op ed by Reps. Dave Weldon and Tom Feeney

"Exactly where Glenn gets his facts we do not know. The Kerry-Edwards space policy makes no mention of the shuttle or station, dismisses the notion of a return to the moon and makes no commitment to a Mars expedition."

27 October 2004: Kerry's vision for space, Op ed by John Glenn, Florida Today

"There have been false rumors circulated that if my good friend John Kerry is elected president, he will limit future space shuttle flights to 10 or less. Kerry has no such plans. Indeed, it is President Bush who has proposed ending space shuttle flights by 2010 and limiting the use of the International Space Station. And where does that leave us for transportation of U.S. astronauts to the station?"

Frank Sietzen: "Does your candidate support the flying of the Space Shuttle until 2010?"

Lori Garver (a few minutes later) "The Kerry administration supports returning the space shuttle to flight (to answer your question Frank) uh and that we absolutely have to move on to a transition to a new system. The space station is an international partnership and we would work uh very quickly if possible as one of the areas we have a concern with to come to some agreement withour partners as to how we're going to fufill the partner agreement. You know, we now have a plan where we go to the space station after we return to flight 25-30 times by 2010. No one believes that we can do that, in fact I mentioned the head of USA - he is only being honest when he says he doesn't think we can do it by then. Uh, we will work with our international partners to come to an agreement over what needs to be done on space station and to fly the space shuttle to meet those agreements as many flights as that takes - that could be significantly less than 25-30 - and then transition to a new system."

Editor's note:Mike McCulley was improperly quoted by Garver. McCulley had told Siezten in an interview that he was speaking as an individual - not as a representative of USA. Sietzen corrected Garver's error later in the debate.

Lori Garver: "When the space station finally did start being built Sen. Kerry did vote a couple of times in support of the space station recognizing that the train had left the station - we need to get on board."

Editor's note: If the space shuttle is so important - and this issue of enough urgency that you wrote this Op Ed - then please explain why the Kerry campaign made no mention of the shuttle - or the ISS in its space policy? Why would Lori Garver not committ to supporting the shuttle flight manifest needed to complete the ISS at the debate a few weeks ago?

"When Kerry accompanied Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson and I to visit the Orbiter Processing Facility at the Kennedy Space Center in July, he came away with a great appreciation of just what a significant technological achievement the space shuttle is."

Editor's note:And the moment photos emerged of that visit the Kerry campaign was furious about having them seen in public and sought to have all of them buried. What were they so afraid of? Kerry could have used this powerful backdrop to make a strong statement about space, but instead he choked and avoided any mention of serious, detailed space policy. If Sen. Kerry feels this strongly about space, then why did he wait to issue a space policy statement - a bland, noncommittal one at that, until just days before the election?

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 29, 2004 9:00 AM.

Bart Gordon Weighs In was the previous entry in this blog.

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