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Election 2004

John Kerry does KSC

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
July 26, 2004

26 July 2004: Kerry hunts for votes in Florida, Houston Chronicle

“About 250 people crammed a conference center at Kennedy Space Center for a Kerry forum billed as a discussion of science and the future. But the senator, sleep deprived by a hectic schedule , delivered a far-ranging but sometimes listless riff on the keywords of his campaign: strength, respect abroad, health care and jobs.”

26 July 2004: John Kerry on Space 2004, SpaceRef

“Given this rather blunt rejection of human space flight and a permanent human presence in space, one has to wonder: if Kerry is this strongly against the International Space Station, a multi-year, multi-billion dollar international program several hundred miles overhead, whether he’d be any more interested in a similarly large, long-term project that sent humans to the Moon or Mars.”

Editor’s note: Excerpt from “New Moon Rising – The Making of America’s New Space Vision and the Remaking of NASA” by Frank Sietzen Jr. and Keith L. Cowing which will be in bookstores in early August 2004.

26 July 2004: Kerry stumps at space center, Orlando Sentinel

“Speaking before an invited audience, Kerry said that the nation needs to continue exploring space — but that it also has to apply the same vigor to problems on Earth. Kerry said it made perfect sense to be at KSC on the day the Democratic National Convention began in Boston.”

26 July 2004: Kerry and Edwards Highlight Health Care Plan on Journey to Boston

“Americans have always come together to reach for distant horizons,” Kerry said during his visit to the space center. “Our spirit of discovery has always united us – from Lewis and Clark’s expedition to landing on the moon. That same spirit is what makes America strong. And it’s what has always made America a leader in the world. We need to harness that spirit of discovery and innovation to build a stronger America.”

From launching people into space to discovering new cures for the deadliest diseases, America has always pushed the boundaries of science to use America’s can-do spirit to make us stronger at home. While the Bush administration has threatened our leadership in innovation and put ideology ahead of sound science, Kerry and Edwards’ plan for America’s future will once again ignite our country’s sense of discovery and innovation to ensure high-quality health care for all Americans.”

“As we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, we always remember that it was Neil Armstrong who walked on the moon,” Kerry said. “But we must never forget the American spirit of discovery and innovation that led us there.”

26 July 2004: Deputy with Kerry injured in motorcade,

“The campaign says the presidential candidate’s car turned around and Kerry came back to check on the deputy. Fire and rescue crews arrived and, after about a five-minute stop, the motorcade continued to the Kennedy Space Center.”

26 July 2004: Kerry is mum on moon and Mars, Florida Today

“The other astronaut-senator in attendance, Sen. Bill Nelson, said he has spoken at length with Kerry and is convinced the space program will not wilt under his leadership. Nelson said Kerry wants to continue exploring space with people and humans. He said Bush, despite announcing a new vision, has done little to fight for the funding NASA needs to do it.”

Editor’s note: Sen. Nelson is either unaware of the fact that the President has threatened to veto appropriations legislation that would cut implementation of his new space policy – or he is distorting events for partisan purposes.

Also – the phrase “continue exploring space with people and humans” has me a little confused. Is this a direct quote of something Nelson said? I always thought “people” = “humans”.

Update: The article has been changed to read “people and robotic spacecraft.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.