December 24, 2011

The Future of the Space Program and How YOU Can Help

You can help influence the future of the space program this election year. Will we reach new heights, return to the moon, and make history with a manned landing on Mars? Will America continue to lead in high technology?

Or will a lack of leadership condemn America to retreat to second place. To watch as other nations reach for the stars and reap the rewards of jobs, investments, inventions, high tech leadership, national pride and so much more. Those truly are the stakes.

The 2012 presidential candidates have not yet developed their positions on space. Some have stated America must continue to lead in space but have not provided any details.

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Here's where you can make the difference. Contact the campaigns. If you get the opportunity to meet any candidates or their staff, ask them to support a bold space program. Send them emails, sign up for campaign events where you may meet them or their staff. Pass the word to your friends to do the same, and post this everywhere! Post replies you get from candidates and your elected representatives on this page and our Facebook page.

A complete list of candidates is here:

Contact your Senators and Representative, as well as all candidates.

The space program is very popular with the public. Some recent polls which you can link to and use to inform candidates:
Pass the word! Blog it, Facebook it! Email your list! Let's get some action going! You can link to this article, and similar postings are on our Facebook page: 

Read in the COMMENTS link for this posting the statements sent by the Perry and Gingrich campaigns.

(photos credit NASA)


  1. Rick Perry's response to my request:

    "More than four decades ago America captured the world's imagination by putting a man on the moon, highlighting an era of excellence in space exploration. Unfortunately, with the final landing of the Shuttle Atlantis and no indication of plans for future missions, the Obama administration has set a significantly different milestone by shutting down our nation's legacy of leadership in human spaceflight and exploration, leaving American astronauts with no alternative but to hitchhike into space.

    The Obama Administration continues to lead federal agencies and programs astray, this time forcing NASA away from its original purpose of space exploration, and ignoring its groundbreaking past and enormous future potential. It is time to restore NASA to its core purpose of manned space exploration, and to define our vision for 21st Century space exploration, not in terms of what we cannot do, but instead in terms of what we will do.

    In my home state, Houston is home to the Johnson Space Center (JSC), which was established in 1961 as the Manned Spacecraft Center. JSC is home to NASA's astronaut corps, and is the principal training site for space shuttle crews and International Space Station Expedition crews from the U.S. and our space station partner nations. JSC's civil service workforce consisted of about 3,000 employees, the majority of whom are professional engineers and scientists. About 50 companies provided more than 12,000 contract personnel who supported operations at JSC. An estimated 4,000 contract positions will be lost due to the end of the shuttle program. JSC is currently working with its contractors to try to repurpose these positions."

  2. Here is the Gingrich campaign's statement, received today:

    Newt Gingrich on Space Exploration:

    Newt is a strong supporter of space exploration, and feels the best way to get there is government incentivized private innovation. He believes that we are falling behind in space exploration and innovation because a bloated bureaucracy is impeding scientific advancements, and the money the government currently spends on feeding this bureaucracy can be better spent working with private innovators.

    Newt co-founded the Aviation and Space Caucus in 1981, recognizing the need for Congress to renew the focus on space exploration after the early successes of NASA.

    Recent Statements on Space Exploration
    “The bureaucracies of national and homeland security, intelligence, diplomacy and space activities are all decaying in their effective implementation capability and are wrapped up in red tape and inefficiency”
    (21st Century Contract with America)

    GINGRICH: "I'm proud of trying to find things that give young people a reason to study science and math and technology and telling them that some day in their lifetime, they could dream of going to the moon, they could dream of going to Mars. I grew up in a generation where the space program was real, where it was important, and where frankly it is tragic that NASA has been so bureaucratized"
    (ABC News Iowa Republican Debate, Dec. 10, 2011)

    GINGRICH: “I’m happy to defend the idea that America should be in space and should be there in an aggressive, entrepreneurial way”
    (ABC News Iowa Republican Debate, Dec. 10, 2011)

    GINGRICH: Well, sadly -- and I say this, sadly, because I'm a big fan of going into space and I actually worked to get the shuttle program to survive at one point -- NASA has become an absolute case study in why bureaucracy can't innovate.

    If you take all the money we've spent at NASA since we landed on the moon and you had applied that money for incentives to the private sector, we would today probably have a permanent station on the moon, three or four permanent stations in space, a new generation of lift vehicles. And instead, what we've had is bureaucracy after bureaucracy after bureaucracy and failure after failure.

    (Part one, see next comment for part two)

  3. Here' is part 2 of the reply I got from the Gingrich campaign:

    Newt Gingrich on Space Exploration:

    I think it's a tragedy, because younger Americans ought to have the excitement of thinking that they, too, could be part of reaching out to a new frontier.
    You know, you'd asked earlier, John, about this idea of limits because we're a developed country. We're not a developed country. The scientific future is going to open up, and we're at the beginning of a whole new cycle of extraordinary opportunities. And, unfortunately, NASA is standing in the way of it, when NASA ought to be getting out of the way and encouraging the private sector.
    (CNN Debate, June 13th, Manchester, New Hampshire)

    Gingrich: "Does it ever occur to you why we spend billions on a space agency that doesn't have a vehicle to get into space?"
    (New Hampshire Debate with Huntsman, condemning the federal government's obsession with policy options instead of action)

    Recent Article

    In response to another question, Gingrich criticized the handling of the nation's space program, saying the country was leading the world, but the program is now stymied by bureaucracy.

    "Instead of being the exciting, dynamic entrepreneurial future, we studied it to death and we red-taped it to death and we created standards that are absurd," Gingrich said.
    He said he would like to devote a portion of NASA's budget and use it as tax-free prize money for private companies that develop new ways to explore space.

    "If you took 5 percent of the NASA budget over the last 10 years, you'd have $8 billion in prizes," Gingrich said. "If you said, for example, we'll pay a billion dollars to the first folks to get to the moon and be able to stay there, we'd have all sorts of folks forming various efforts to get to the moon, none of them would be applying for federal money, none of them would be sitting around waiting for grant reviews."
    (The Associated Press, November 17, 2011)

  4. Newt Gingrich spoke in favor of a bold space program in Florida:,0,17269.story