The Moon and space travel in politics - MyMoon

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**For this blog, I am going to do my best to be completely unbiased and just present the facts and discuss the stances of presidential candidates and other politicians on these areas. As well as make sure that my political opinions/beliefs do not show.**

With the Presidential election quickly approaching, many people are wanting to know where the candidates stand on certain issues. The majority of the focus from the media (debates, advertising campaigns, news articles, etc) tends to be on taxes, foreign and domestic policy, health care, the national debt, and a few others; However, like myself, the people that are reading this blog would like to know where these candidates and other politicians stand with regards to the moon as well as space travel as a whole. (I was unable to go through hundreds of politicians, therefore I will be focusing on the two Presidential candidates as well as Newt Gingrich, former Republican Presidential nominee)

Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, believes that American needs to begin to make larger strides, similar to those made in the 60s, with regards to the moon. In a comment that he made while running for the Republican Nomination for presidency, Mr. Gingrich said "By the end of my second term, we will have the first permanent base on the moon". Therefore, he was proposing that by the year 2020, the United States of American would have a base located on the moon as well as an increase in manned space flight. In my belief, this would be the biggest thing to happen to the American Space Program since the landing on the Moon in 1969.

In the past four years, the United States of America has seen a dramatic decline in space travel as well as Moon exploration under the current President and 2012 Democratic Presidential Candidate, Barack Obama. Despite this decrease, President Obama and his administration have laid out plans to reach and asteroid with manned space flight by around the year 2025 as well as a Mars mission by the mid 2030s. President Obama, however, would like for the government to have less of a say in these missions and would like for private industry to step forward and fund these missions as well as plan and execute them.

Former Governor of Massachusetts and Republican Candidate for Presidency in 2012, Mitt Romney has a similar outlook for space travel and moon exploration as his Republican counterpart Newt Gingrich. Governor Romney and his administration would like to secure the global leadership position in space exploration for the United States of America. I was unable to discover how he would like to go about doing this, however, from interviews he has said that he would like to go ahead and secure this position for our great nation.

Therefore, all of these politicians would like for moon exploration and space travel to increase within our nation. The only difference, however, is how each candidate would like to go about reaching these goals. I would like to know what all of your thoughts are on these topics.


Dennis M J M.

Monday Oct-15-2012

great post. Like any of his policy platforms I can also find nothing of substance about romneys positions. As for barrak, we have already seen his plan is to hack and slash and turn it all over to the private sector while getting nasa focusing more on admin and education (which I like). This goes against his usual, more socialist policies that I've seen and I like it. As yesterdays jump from space proves, private industry is getting well suited to handle this development.

That being said it is unlikely that private companies have any incentive to operate much more than a casino in orbit at this point, so I dont expect they will 'lead the way' beyond LEO unfortunately.This leave supremacy in space up for grabs. Nations like china and india are just entering the race, but they are able to draw from all of our past successes so we see they are advancing much more quickly after their initial 10 years than we have been in the last 10. Their national governments are still very interested in funding robotic and manned missions to new frontiers.

The only hope I see for America to really take the lead in this area again is to turn it over to the military. The X-37B is a good example of what I mean. The AirForce and Navy have had rocketry and space programs for years, they receive more and more funding all the time while NASA is constantly fighting away the funding axe from capitol hill... a dire development indeed.

I think this is why the republican candidates are so confident on this point, they probably expect or will engage the military will start playing a bigger and bigger role. The Dems seem to be happy with the course they've plotted and I must say that I currently agree. While America may need to head-up some sort of militarized space-police force in the coming decades, I think it is premature now and if ANYONE is going to build a moon base it should be a collaborative effort like the ISS, but involving ever more nations; china, india and others that are little involved in the ISS should def^ be invited to partake in this mission on behalf of all mankind. The mars500 was a great example of the sort of international cooperation we need to court. By continuing to be so boisterous, careless and invasive upon the interests of other nations we risk isolating America away from these other fledgling space-nations. Whoever wins, I hope they adopt a more open and inviting stance towards all nations when it come to space exploration, especially manned missions or extra-terrestrial bases. :)

Nick A.

Monday Oct-15-2012

Gingrich just wanted votes in Florida.

SpaceX docking with the ISS doesn't seem like a decline to me. The only thing that's declined lately was the Shuttle program. Curiosity landed within the last four years, as well, IIRC ;)

William K.

Monday Oct-15-2012

Yes, SpaceX docking with the ISS will continue; however, that is not a government deal. That is a private sector deal. The Curiosity landing was a great success and will continue to be a key aspect of space travel for years to come. However, the cutting of the shuttle program was a HUGE cut to the American space travel program. We are no longer capable of sending manned missions to space until the Orion program takes off, meaning that we must ship our astronauts to Russia to be launched to the ISS.

I do agree with President Obama that the private industry needs to step up in the space race; However, it is tough for private industries to step forward unless they have billions of dollars at their disposal. I believe that the government should still help out with the space race until it is evident that it can be done better through the private industry. And like you said Dennis, I believe that the military stepping into the space race would help out tremendously.

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