The Politics of Space Exploration

As we begin this new year, the Iowa Caucuses are beginning the Presidential Election feeding frenzy for the mainstream corporate media to bloviate non-stop over the Democratic and Republican candidates. Many topics have been discussed and masticated over the past few months, but one hasn’t received the coverage the others have; funding NASA and space exploration.

I am listing the following candidates along with their responses when asked the question, “How would you go about funding NASA and future space programs?” For the sake of brevity, I’m only listing the current top three candidates from both parties:

Democrats 

Hillary Clinton

“Hillary will enhance American leadership in space, including:

  • Pursuing an ambitious 21st century Space Exploration Program, by implementing a balanced strategy of robust human spaceflight, expanded robotic spaceflight, and enhanced space science activities.
  • Developing a comprehensive space-based Earth Sciences agenda, including full funding for NASA’s Earth Sciences program and a space-based Climate Change Initiative that will help us secure the scientific knowledge we need to combat global warming.
  • Promoting American leadership in aeronautics by reversing funding cuts to NASA’s and FAA’s aeronautics R&D budget.”

Source: HillaryClinton.com

“As a Chinese spacecraft is ready to head to the moon, the leading U.S. democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), is calling for an increase in overall U.S. robotic exploration, but not necessarily manned exploration of the moon.

John Edwards

“Former senator John Edwards (N.C.), who is vying with Clinton and Obama for the Democratic nomination, said in a statement: ‘We need a balanced space and aeronautics program. We need to support solar system exploration as an important goal for our human and robotic programs, but only as one goal among several.’”

Source: Washington Post, “Clinton Favors Future Human Spaceflight”

“If elected President, how would you balance the scientific research at NASA with the manned spaceflight program which, arguably, has dubious scientific value?”

“I am a strong supporter of our space program. It reflects the best of the American spirit of optimism, discovery and progress. We need a balanced space and aeronautics program. We need to support solar system exploration as an important goal for our human and robotic programs, but only as one goal among several. And we need to invite other countries to share in a meaningful way in both the adventure and the cost of space exploration.”

Source: “Exclusive: Interview with Senator John Edwards on Science-Related Topics”

Barack Obama

“Barack Obama’s early education and K-12 plan package costs about $18 billion per year. He will maintain fiscal responsibility and prevent any increase in the deficit by offsetting cuts and revenue sources in other parts of the government. The early education plan will be paid for by delaying the NASA Constellation Program for five years”

Source: BarackObama.com

Republican Party

Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani said the United States should prioritize energy independence much like it did the space race, when Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson fired up the gears of industry and imagination after the Soviet Union beat the U.S. into space.

The result was a bipartisan thrust to the moon that transcended several presidencies and spawned a generation of national pride and scientific spin-offs.

“Politics aside and national interests first. Not only did it help us ultimately win the Cold War, it helped us in countless other ways, in scientific development and products,” Giuliani said.

“We can do the same thing with energy independence. But we’ve got to have a president who knows how to get things done.”

Source: Tallahassee Democrat (via Space Politics.com), “Giuliani Wants to ‘Aggressively Pursue Space Exploration’”

Mike Huckabee

In response to the following question: “Is there a candidate amongst you willing to take a pledge on behalf of the Mars Society of sending an American to the surface of Mars by 2020? If not, what is your vision for human space exploration?”

“Whether we ought to go to Mars is not a decision that I would want to make, but I would certainly want to make sure that we expand the space program, because every one of us who are sitting here tonight have our lives dramatically improved because there was a space program — whether it’s these screens that we see or the incredible electronics that we use, including the GPS systems that got many of you to this arena tonight.

“Some of you were late because you didn’t have one, by the way. Or whether it’s the medical technologies that saved many of our lives or the lives or our families, it’s the direct result of the space program, and we need to put more money into science and technology and exploration.

“Now, whether we need to send somebody to Mars, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what: If we do, I’ve got a few suggestions, and maybe Hillary could be on the first rocket to Mars.”

Source: Republican Presidential Debate, November 28, 2007

Mitt Romney

“Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney‘s campaign responded by providing an article from the Florida Today newspaper that said: ‘During the first campaign visit to the Space Coast by a 2008 presidential candidate, Republican Mitt Romney said he supports Bush’s vision for space exploration and has no reason yet to propose a new direction.’”

Actually, I’m not holding my breath that any of these people will follow through with any funding whatsoever to cover the mainstream space program given the current state of the nation’s finances. The money that went into various politicians, contractors, Middle East warlords’, kings’ and presidents’ Swiss and Cayman Island bank accounts during the past seven years could’ve paid for five Mars Missions and then some. The only candidate who was honest enough to say he was going to cut funding was Barack Obama. The others would say anything anyway.

Do I sound cynical? You bet. The past thirty-six years should speak for itself.
Not that it matters much. I believe there is an off-the-books funded space program anyway. One that has done many, many things.

That’s a topic for another day.

Original article

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8 responses

  1. Remember the scuttlebutt two or three years back about after Bu$hco first got appointed to power that Rummy asked the Pentagon bigshots where 2.7 trillion petro-dollars disappeared off the books?

    I remember a conspicuous silence for an answer, don’t you?

  2. Ha-ha! Well, if flowery rhetoric has any weight, here, I’d say they all have a good shot at perpetuating the NWO image… but Huck needs to polish his act a bit! Okay… a WHOLE bit!

    Someone needs to ask them how their platforms are jiving with the elitist agenda on eliminating 2/3 of the world’s “useless eaters” – how are they going to work that in with their plans to colonize Mars and the rest of the universe? Seems rather contradictory to be thinking of expanding your boundaries when you’re planning on downsizing your population… especially when overpopulation is cited as one of the primary reasons for space exploration! My personal conviction is that the powers-that-be have no intentions on doing any serious work in that area at all, but that space programs are merely highly effective money-funnels for other covert uses.

    Oops! Lost my tinfoil hat, again! Darn!

  3. My various researches have come up with a scism in the NWO, one faction wants to do the genocide deal, and the other says no, there’s another way. The “no” side said there’d better not be race specific weapons directed at them because if there is, the European NWO leadership will get taken out.

    Of course the WASP bluebloods said bring it on, they’ll do it anyway. They also said there’s always others to take their spot.

    I don’t know about the European brovado, I think that’s bullsh*t because traditionally they’re cowards.

    Besides, I’ve read Klovenhoof is resigning and the Jesuit leadership is in flux. Have you heard anything about that?

  4. Yeah, I’ve heard he’s “asked” the Pope if he can step down. Ordinarily, black popes are ‘elected’ for life. What process that entails, I’m not sure of. There is supposed to be a high level meeting this month, to decide on a replacement, and to review policy.

    I think it’s propaganda, most of it. If he is stepping down, one of the inner circle will likely take over. There’s about seven of them. I’ll still believe it when I see it. He may still run things from behind the scenes.

    The “Order” has it’s schisms, but they are still better organized than we are. I have some other thoughts on this, but I’ll email you on those.

  5. [...] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt [...]

  6. Unfortunately, the mainstream space program has been a great tool for the behind the curtain crowd to syphon off funds. Since NASA uses the same “contractors” as the military, the money gets sucked down into the black hole and into someone’s bank account.

    They do have to throw the public a bone once in a while to show that actual science is being done, thus we get the piddly robotic probes that still use chemical rockets and fancy orbital mechanics to fling them off into the yonder. Using seventy year old technology and claiming it’s the latest and greatest is just bullsh*t. Especially when claims of missing trillions surfaces.

  7. The entire space program needs a serious audit, not only concerning funding but utilization of said funding along with doable, reasonable target projects for the future.

    We have aging weather satellites that need immediate replacement. The Hubble space telescope is due to go offline soon with no scheduled replacement in the works. There are many priorities when it comes space related missions, but the key is balance on our expenditures for these programs.

    About 50 billion dollars of the DOD’s annual budget is of the “black” , unaccountable category. They traditionally hide the money in USDA accounts so it’s almost impossible to trace where the funds end up when drawn upon. The amounts of money that have been siphoned into Swiss, Cayman Island, Isle of Mann, Lichtenstein accounts is unknowable since this fiasco has been going on since most modern spy agency foundings immediately after WWII an into the early 50′s.

    So to continue NASA in a business as ususal mode is the wrong way to go. In addition to NASA, the CIA, the NSA, DIA and DARPA all need a serious audit by our GAO and held strictly accountable for their sub-funding and use of earmarked funds for their operations. There are others too that use mind boggling amount of money with questionable results. The US Weather Bureau/NOAA uses 40 billion per annum…?! It seems at least from my standpoint concerning the local and regional weather reporting has become more hit and miss as times goes on. Lots of bucks spend and it’s still raining when they predict it should be partly cloudy and overcast or whatever… :))

    To sum it up, our government with a 9.7 trillion dollar public debt with a projected 12 trillion by 2012 along with an estimated 55 trillion in debt committed for SS, Medicare/Medicaid committments, and government pensions isn’t in a position to offer anything to “we the people” at this point in time other than more hollow promises with no solid funding to back up the programs.

    So if NASA is to continue it’s mission into the future then I feel they need to excel in AI driven robotics for their future missions to Mars, the moons of Jupiter, Saturn etc. It’s been estimated that a “manned mission” to Mars could approach two trillion dollars! We can launch a host of AI/robot probes to the distant reaches of the solar system for far less than two trillion. Also improvements in AI/robotics have more spinoff/trickledown value to the private sector over time to be utilized on earth as opposed to the uniquely different problems associated with manned missions.

    There’s too many grave problems this country is facing to be able to fritter away 2,000 billion bucks on a single manned mission with a questionable end product. If all the major nations that have a space program want to jointly participate in a Mars mission then it might be doable, but the U.S. going it alone will never happen at least no in these financially challenging times. As a single nation mission, China will set foot on Mars long before we do, if ever.

    I rest my case.

    Carl Nemo **==

  8. As much as I would like to disagree with your argument Carl, I can’t. At this point in time, there is no way the US will ever go to Mars. Hell, I doubt we’ll get back to the Moon without extra help from other countries who just might go along.

    The American economy is trashed, entangled into the “global” economy. Debt is into space higher than our satellites are and trillions of taxpayer dollars have been siphoned off into untraceable black projects and offshore accounts.

    I wouldn’t count on the GAO or any other government office to make things right Carl, I’m certain many palms were crossed with silver to help grease the skids along the way.

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