An analysis of America's decline in leadership in space shows the lack of an enthusiastic champion has always been the single most important factor. The cost of the space program is essentially trivial--less than half of one percent of the budget for the entire NASA budget; which includes many bureaucratic expenses as well as many routine satellites and science programs. The moon/Mars rocket is already under development. Plans for lunar bases and Mars missions over the past five decades have identified the necessary elements, and with modern technology and manufacturing methods, as well as advanced materials, we can do it far cheaper and faster than we could have in past decades. All that lacks is someone to rally America to the challenge, to interest Congress in investing in it.
The benefits to America of a bold space program are countless. Prime among them are high tech leadership and inventions, skilled jobs, investments in our economy, and not least, national pride.
While Speaker Gingrich is to be highly commended for taking a powerful lead on the space program, the greatest mistake supporters of the space program can make is to rely only upon him--or any single person--to promote the space program.
Gingrich may not be the nominee or the next president. Other candidates are already attacking his proposals as a way to attach Gingrich. Yet in so doing so, they are attacking America's greatest accomplishments. Attacks by other candidates and ridicule from the media on the could make the space program so 'radioactive' an issue that even Gingrich will be tempted to abandon it. Any candidate elected who has attacked these proposals may end up cutting the space program even further.
Therefore, the most important task for space advocates and supporters is to urge all other candidates to equal or out-bid the Speaker on the issue. Contact the candidates and the President, and urge them to adopt similar or greater goals in space.
Contact the campaigns too and protest if candidates ridicule the space program or bold proposals like Gingrich's. You can call radio talk shows with this message, post comments on blogs and forums, write letters to the editor of newspapers, and post comments on news websites. Use these same techniques to protest news reports ridiculing the space program and its advocates.
Further; call, email and write your members of Congress and candidates, and ask them to support a bold space program.
These simple actions will help keep the space program not a partisan or single-candidate issue but the truly American issue it must always be; one strongly supported by all who stand for election this year.
- Third party and independent candidates