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Election 2008

Stand and Be Counted – It Seems To Be Working

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
January 18, 2008

Editor’s 14 Jan note: If you are wondering why the presidential candidates don’t spend more time talking about space exploration, here’s your chance to try and change that situation and toss questions at them. Go to this link at and submit a question to the Democratic and Republican candidates for the CNN/Politico/LA Times debates at the end of the month. Imagine what would happen if they had a thousand questions from NASA Watch readers submitted … its time for y’all to put up or shut up. Send in a question. Send in more than one question.

Space Supporters Hit the CNN Presidential Debate Website Hard, Wired

“This is clearly not random chance. NASA Watch, a private website, ran a note about the website two days ago and it appears the readers (and likely the reader’s friends, families, and associates) took this idea and ran with it.”

Editor’s 17 Jan a.m. update: Space questions continue to do well. There are still 2 weeks until the actual debates- so the trick now is to keep the momentum going. Vote for space questions, keep submitting your own, and try and focus on a single, clear question and avoid long speeches on one narrow topic, etc.

Meanwhile there is another debate where CNN is looking for your input:

Editor’s 18 Jan a.m. update: It looks like activity has slacked off. The number of space-oriented questions has fallen from the top portion of the list – most notably on the Republican side. Things are better on the Democratic side but there has been erosion there as well. As best I can figure it there needs to be a constant influx of new questions while people vote for the older ones. The easiest way to do this is to check the “most recent” link several times a day and go down and click on all of the space questions you like. This way you don’t miss any. In addition, going to the “most popular” page usually only works for new visitors (or for those of you using another computer). In essence: perseverance, new questions, and new people are required to keep this up. You have done a great job thus far – keep at it!

Space: The Final Electoral Frontier?, Orlando Sentinel

“The surge followed an appeal from NASA Watch, a private website, encouraging space supporters to flood the debate website with questions about space. The request appears to have struck a nerve as NASA Watch aficionados and other space fans came out of the woodwork, inundating the website with inquires about the candidates’ views on missions to the moon and mars, robotic exploration and climate change.”

Submit Your Space Questions to the Debates, Planetary Society

“When you go to the site, you will see that numerous space-related questions already have been submitted, in large part thanks to the efforts of Keith Cowing, editor of the website NASAWATCH.”

Earlier posts:

Wolf Blitzer: What would you ask the Democrats in South Carolina?, CNN

“I am going to be hosting a Democratic presidential debate on Monday, January 21, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina”

Editor’s 15 Jan a.m. update: You’ve been busy! Lots of space questions have been submitted and are now up for voting. Several questions seem to be heading to the top of the pack. New ones appear all the time. Look at what you have done already – imagine what will happen if you all keep at this every day and get others to vote until the debates on 30 and 31 January!

Editor’s 15 Jan p.m. update: Well something is certainly in the wind. As of Tuesday evening, space-themed questions appeared 3 or 4 times in the most popular questions for both parties. A space question was #1 among the Democratic questions and #2 for the Republican questions. See screen grab. The best I can tell, based on how this website works, the smartest thing to do is to submit a good, general – but to the point – question and then vote for these questions multiple times a day (you get one vote per question per IP address) every time you see a new one. Keep at it folks!

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