Obama Reverses Campaign Stance on Constellation Cuts

Editor's note: During a campaign appearance in Titusville, FL on Saturday, Democratic candidate Sen. Obama commented on NASA. As part of a response to a question on oceanic research, he brought up the topic of NASA. He said "I know it's still being reported that we were talking about delaying some aspects of the Constellation program to pay for our early education program. I told my staff we're going to find an entirely different offset, because we've got to make sure that the money that's going into NASA for basic research and development continues to go there. That has been a top priority for us."

"This is an administration that is anti-science. They have rejected science - I want us to be a science-based society."

Editor's note: If you look at this original version of "Barack Obama's Plan For Lifetime Success Through Education" as first posted officialy some months ago, Section IX says "The early education plan will be paid for by delaying the NASA Constellation Program for five years". Yet, if you read the current version, that sentence about NASA is now gone. So this was more than just an issue of something "being reported". It was on Obama's own website, in one of his official position papers. This certainly strikes me as a policy reversal - albeit a positive one.

Obama says he will protect NASA jobs, budget, Orlando Sentinel

"That position had been "reported" on Obama's official campaign Web site until it was removed Saturday. The campaign of Republican rival John McCain was quick to point that out, declaring in a news release, "Barack Obama once again demonstrated that his words really don't matter."

Editor's update: According to the official Obama Blog:

"Barack was in Titusville, Florida this morning for a "Working for Change" town hall. Along with the economy, Barack talked about the need to focus on space exploration and the effect it has on Florida residents. He said..."

"And we have to do more than provide short-term relief. We have to secure our long-term prosperity and strengthen America's competitiveness in the 21st century. One of the areas where we are in danger of losing our competitive edge is our space program. When I was growing up, NASA inspired the world with achievements we are still proud of. Today, we have an administration that has set ambitious goals for NASA without giving NASA the support it needs to reach them. As a result, they've had to cut back on research, and trim their programs, which means that after the Space Shuttle shuts down in 2010, we're going to have to rely on Russian spacecraft to keep us in orbit.

We cannot cede our leadership in space. That's why I will help close the gap and ensure that our space program doesn't suffer when the Shuttle goes out of service by working with Senator Bill Nelson to add at least one additional Space Shuttle flight beyond 2010; by supporting continued funding for NASA; by speeding the development of the Shuttle's successor; and by making sure that all those who work in the space industry in Florida do not lose their jobs when the Shuttle is retired - because we cannot afford to lose their expertise.

More broadly, we need a real vision for space exploration. To help formulate this vision, I'll reestablish the National Aeronautics and Space Council so that we can develop a plan to explore the solar system - a plan that involves both human and robotic missions, and enlists both international partners and the private sector. And as America leads the world to long-term exploration of the moon, Mars, and beyond, let's also tap NASA's ingenuity to build the airplanes of tomorrow and to study our own planet so we can combat global climate change. Under my watch, NASA will inspire the world, make America stronger, and help grow the economy here in Florida."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on August 2, 2008 11:28 AM.

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