[FPSPACE] Kerry-Edwards Space Policy
mattwriter at aol.com
mattwriter at aol.com
Thu Jun 30 13:06:05 EDT 2005
Thanks to John. I did miss this.
But it does not commit the candidate to a darn thing. Leadership is about priorities. Bush as least had some, good or bad. While rejecting the Bush priorities, it says nothing about Kerry priorities. A "balanced program" can mean anything you want it to. It says nothing about any decisions or even opinions the candidate may have on increasing (or not increasing) NASA funding, on shuttle or station, on human exploration beyond LOE, or on the role of private industry or commercialization. It seems calculated to offend no one and say nothing the candidate could be held to later. The only specific policy is increased international partnership, which costs little to implement and could mean almost anything in practice, from just a little change to a huge change.
In fairness, Bush had no clear vision statement on space when he was a candidate the first time, either. Since Bush as President did have one by the time the campaign was on, though, it's disappointing the Kerry response was this bland and generic.
ALL POSTS REPRESENT SOLELY THE PERSONAL OPINION OF THE AUTHOR
From: John Logsdon <logsdon at gwu.edu>
To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
Sent: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 10:36:25 -0400
Subject: [FPSPACE] Kerry-Edwards Space Policy
For the historical record (since it had no impact on the election
outcome), here is the Kerry/Edwards space policy statement, issued
September 27, 2004. Few people noticed it:
John Kerry and John Edwards on Space and Aeronautics for the 21st Century
A Kerry/Edwards administration will give high priority upon taking
office to reducing the immense budget deficit created by the Bush
Administration over the past four years. Space and aeronautics research
are just two of the many worthwhile government activities being short
changed because of the administration's focus on cutting taxes and
financing overseas interventions. But as the deficit is reduced, we will
support a strong, stable, and balanced U.S. aeronautics and space
program, one that will continue to deliver major benefits to society,
inspire interest in science and engineering, and help ensure American
leadership in the world.
The Bush administration has proposed a plan that makes human and robotic
exploration of the solar system the overriding purpose of all of NASA.
This plan is based on political rhetoric rather than technical and
fiscal reality. It was developed in secret, without consulting the U.S.
scientific and engineering community or potential international
partners. To finance this proposal, the White House suggests taking
funds away from key space science, Earth science, and aeronautics programs.
A Kerry/Edwards administration will pursue a more balanced space and
aeronautics program, one that assigns appropriate priority to all NASA
programs. We will support solar system exploration as an important goal
for our human and robotic programs, but only as one goal among several.
Space exploration by its very nature should be a global undertaking, one
that unites all nations in the common quest for greater understanding.
Yet the Bush administration is applying its unilateralist approach to
the Moon and Mars as well as to this planet, and has excluded potential
partners from its exploration planning. John Kerry will invite other
countries to share in a meaningful way in both the adventure and the
costs of space exploration.
Investing in aeronautics R&D is critical to maintaining the economic
vitality and quality of life of our nation. In particular, we need to
invest in the creation of a robust, safe, and secure air traffic
management system that will be adequate to meet the growing demand for
air travel that is predicted. Yet, it is hard to see how NASA will be
able to play a credible role in that effort given the budgetary outlook
for aeronautics implicit in the Administration?s exploration initiative.
A Kerry/Edwards administration would reverse the decline in the
priority given to aeronautics, and would set NASA on a course to
reinvigorate its aeronautics research efforts.
The current NASA top management was sent to the space agency by the
White House specifically to fix NASA?s financial and management
problems. But NASA has been unable to pass an independent audit of its
books for two of the last three years, and the NASA Inspector General
has cautioned that it is not likely to receive a clean audit for the
current year either. The current failings of the agency?s financial
management system are dramatized by the almost $2 billion discrepancy
between NASA?s books for last year and those of the U.S. Treasury---this
out of a $15 billion dollar NASA budget. Even the Bush administration?s
own Office of Management and Budget rates NASA?s financial management
performance ?unsatisfactory.? A Kerry/Edwards administration will
restore financial integrity and credibility to NASA.
NASA research has led to breakthroughs in a number of fields, many
bearing little direct relationship to space flight, aeronautics, or the
other NASA missions. From breast cancer diagnosis technologies to
wildfire management, from computerized design processes to cleaner cars,
that research provides this nation with broad public benefits. A
Kerry/Edwards administration will focus NASA on those areas of
aeronautics and space research where the greatest public benefit can be
Americans are justifiably proud of this nation?s past aeronautics and
space accomplishments. John Kerry and John Edwards believe that
maintaining and increasing America?s leadership in aerospace is an
important investment in this nation?s future.
John M. Logsdon
Director, Space Policy Institute
Elliott School of International Affairs
George Washington University
1957 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
phone - (202)994-7292 fax - (202)994-1639
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