Election 2008: April 2008 Archives

Sen. Bill Nelson: White House race holds key to future of space program, Orlando Sentinel

"Nelson said that Floridians need to press their case on the presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Clinton was the first candidate to outline support for "robust human spaceflight" and is seen as NASA's biggest booster of the three. But there are questions on how committed she is to the Bush administration's plans for exploration to the moon and then Mars."

Candidates and the space race (Video), CNN

"What do the candidates say? John McCain speaks favorably for continuing the current course for space exploration, but he also wants to control spending, and that could further disrupt funding. Hillary Clinton has ambitious plans including quote: "Robust human space flight." Her emphasis appears to be on astronauts looking back, studying our own planet to combat global warming. And Barack Obama has suggested that while work in space is important and should continue, it's no longer inspirational, and NASA needs to reconsider its goals. Unlike President John Kennedy who launched the moon missions, not one of them is saying much about returning to the moon, and they rarely mention Mars."

Clinton turns attention to observatory in Puerto Rico, Orlando Sentinel

"In a release issued by her Senate office, Clinton highlighted that Cornell University is a New York institution. She stressed the "historic relationship" between that state and Puerto Rico. "Cornell University scientists have used the remarkable tools available at Arecibo Observatory to greatly expand our understanding of the universe," Clinton said in the release. "I am proud to support the path-blazing accomplishments of these New Yorkers."

Clinton Introduces Legislation to Support Cornell's Innovative Observatory in Puerto Rico

IFPTE Endorses Obama

IFPTE Endorses Senator Barack Obama for President

"The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers' (IFPTE), an AFL-CIO affiliated labor union whose public, private and federal sector membership includes engineers, scientists and technicians at the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Energy (DOE), NASA and Boeing, has given their backing to Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States. The IFPTE Executive Council voted without opposition late yesterday to endorse the Illinois Senator."

Obama's response: " ... I'll fight for organized labor by protecting the right to organize. I'll support vigorous reinvestment in our federal research and development agencies, including NASA, to maintain America's leadership in Science and Technology and to foster economic competitiveness."

NASA Under Obama?

Obama's Plan for NASA, American Thinker

"As the legend goes, when the Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in what is now Mexico in 1519, he ordered the boats that brought him and his men there to be burned. Obama seems to have something similar planned for NASA."

Editor's note: According to page 8 of the April 2008 Aviation Week ShowNews Briefing, AIA Space Systems VP J.P. Stevens says "It will be a battle if there is a Democratic administration".

Let's look at this a little more closely. Yes, Sen. Obama (D-IL) has indeed talked of drastic and unwarranted cuts to Project Constellation - and has said rather negative things about human spaceflight. But that's about the only specificity we've heard from him. By stark contrast, Sen. Clinton (D-NY) seems to be outright supportive of NASA.

Yet it is Sen. McCain (R-AZ) who has proposed a freeze on discretionary spending (which includes NASA's budget) which would amount to a cut (or non-growth) at a time when a number of NASA projects are depending upon budget increases.

And this would be set against a backdrop whereby the Bush Administration won't lift a finger to prepare a budget for FY 2010 - leaving the incoming Administration to scramble to cobble one together between November 2008 and January 2009. This comes after the Bush administration walked away from the earlier financial commitments it had made for the implementation of the VSE.

If anything, in 2008, with the politics in play - and the history of the past few years before us, the Republicans seem more intent upon depriving NASA of needed budget funds - and have a proven track record of doing so.

Then again, only time will tell what will actually happen.

We Need a Science White House, opinion, Wall Street Journal

"Tomorrow Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain should have been going toe-to-toe in a televised science debate. All three were invited by a bipartisan group of Nobel laureates and other scholars called ScienceDebate 2008 to step on stage at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and explain how they will ensure that America continues to dominate the sciences. Leading in scientific research and advancement is an essential element to our future prosperity, health and national defense. All three candidates declined. Apparently the top contenders for our nation's highest elective office have better things to do than explain to the public their views on securing America's future."

McCain unveils his economic plan

"The plan is centered around a one-year freeze in discretionary spending -- with the exception of military and veterans programs -- to allow for a "top-to-bottom review of the effectiveness of federal programs." "'Discretionary spending' is a term people throw around a lot in Washington, while actual discretion is seldom exercised," McCain said. "Instead, every program comes with a built-in assumption that it should go on forever, and its budget increase forever. My administration will change that way of thinking."

Editor's note: In other words McCain would apparently limit NASA's budget for FY 2010 to what it is going to end up being for FY 2009 - based on (I would guess) whatever budget level contained in any budget (or CR) enacted this Fall. That's not going to be good for Ares, Orion, or many other things ...

Run Nick Run

Texan's campaign champions NASA, gives slim hope for Kennedy Space Center job, Orlando Sentinel

"A Texas congressman trying to keep his job could be the best hope for Kennedy Space Center workers trying to keep theirs. But it's a slim hope at best. Meet U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, a Democrat defending a Houston-area seat once held by former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Like DeLay, Lampson is an avid NASA supporter with strong ties to nearby Johnson Space Center."

Presidential race a civics lesson for students

"Tyler Monroe, a senior at MCHS, hopes the next president will support the endeavors of NASA. "I think it's really important that we further the exploration in space," he said. "Space is the next frontier."

Transcript of questions and answers with Sen. Barack Obama, The Republic.com

"Q: What do you plan to do with the space agency? Like right now they're currently underfunded, they, at first they didn't know if they were going to be able to operate Spirit rover. What do plan to do with it?

Elections and Budgets

Election year delay for NASA's Ares and Orion vehicles feared, Flight Global

"The USA's presidential election could leave NASA short of the funding it needs to keep its Orion crew exploration vehicle and Ares I booster project on track for their planned maiden flight in March 2015."

Editor's note: This really has nothing directly to do with the election this year. Continuing resolutions happen in non-election years as well as election years - just last year as a matter of fact. Congress has also passed budgets in election years as well.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Overview, FY2009 Budget, and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service 26 Feb 2008 via OpenCRS

"NASA stresses that its strategy is to "go as we can afford to pay," with the pace of the program set, in part, by the available funding. In 2004, the President proposed adding a total of $1 billion to NASA's budget for FY2005 through FY2009 to help pay for the Vision, but subsequent Administration budgets more than eliminated this proposed increase, and actual appropriations by Congress have been even less. Most funding for the Vision is thus being redirected from other NASA activities. To free up funding for Orion and Ares I, the space shuttle program will be terminated in 2010, and U.S. use of the ISS will end by 2017. NASA has not provided a cost estimate for the Vision as a whole. Its 2005 implementation plan estimates that returning astronauts to the Moon will cost $104 billion, not including the cost of robotic precursor missions, and that using Orion to service the ISS will cost an additional $20 billion. A report by the Government Accountability Office gives a total cost for the Vision of $230 billion over two decades."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Election 2008 category from April 2008.

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