"What will happen to the International Space Station while NASA transitions from the Space Shuttle, retiring in 2010, to the Orion spacecraft, launching in 2014? The National Space Society considers this question and others during its 27th annual conference today in Washington, D.C."
Editor's note: Live C-SPAN coverage resumes at 2:00 pm EDT today with a discussion on space and the 2008 Election.
Excerpt of Sen. Obama's representative's (Steve Robinson) comments on space policy:
Sen. Obama views space policy within a larger framework of science in general. Sen. Obama is a friend of science and engineering. We need more input from scientists and engineers in decisions that affect research in these areas. General principles:
1. We need to build/support a strong pool of talented people to ensure the future of space research and to ensure a supply engineers of tomorrow. Inspiration takes many forms. My boss has not talked about space - and when he does he will talk about it in an inspirational way.
2. We need to create a supportive environment for research and development in both the public and private sector - including support for a a new generation of entrepreneurs.
3. Need to apply science, technology, and engineering to solve the world's greatest challenges.
4. Need to be linking human and robotic exploration of space more clearly to challenges that face our planet such as climate change and to provide unadulterated scientific advice to the government.
Steve Robinson suggested that there are other things that are done by robots in space that can be inspiring and that humans do not necessarily need to be there (although e personally find that inspiring). Moderator Miles O'Brien suggested that there are "no high schools named after robots". Robinson replied "some of those high schools are building robots". He elaborated that it might be more inspiring for his students (he's a teacher) to create ways to interact with rovers on Mars. "We should not limit our inspiration to what inspires us. I am not inspired by Second Life but others are."