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Obama R&D Speech Provides Very Little for NASA

By Marc Boucher
April 27, 2009

Obama pledges 3 percent of GDP for research, Infoworld
Obama repeatedly used the early U.S. space program as a framing device for his remarks, calling that period “the high water mark” of government investment in research and development.”
“It sparked a wide range of scientific innovation with benefits that went far beyond the historic Apollo missions, such as advancements in building materials and fire-resistant fabrics, he said.

Editor’s note: The speech which includes $150 billion in R&D spending over 10 years did little for NASA other than offer some funding for climate change. Some highlights:
…it supports efforts at NASA, recommended as a priority by the National Research Council, to develop new space-based capabilities to help us better understand our changing climate.
– He announced a Presidents Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
– The new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA-E modeled after DARPA
– Triples the number of National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships.
– Also announced was an initiative to ” inspire tens of thousands of American students to pursue careers in science, engineering and entrepreneurship related to clean energy.”
– There was some positive efforts for of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs
Comments and transcript
The Speech (MP3)
Editor’s Update: Statement by Science and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon, Chairman Gordon Comments on Presidents Address Highlighting the Importance of Science
“Another important subject the president highlighted was the work being done at NASA in helping us to understand climate change. We cannot make a commitment to addressing climate change without being committed to NASA. NASAs work, along with the efforts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will be key to our efforts to monitor and understand the potential impacts of climate change, including shifting weather patterns, melting glaciers and ice sheets, sea level rise, and other phenomena.”

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