Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Republican Platform on Space

The Republican Party platform is on their web site, Click here to download it as a .PDF.

Their position on space is on Page 28 of the document (Page 35 of the .PDF).

Here is their entire statement on space:

America’s Future in Space:
Continuing this Quest

The exploration of space has been a key part of U.S. global leadership and has supported innovation and ownership of technology. Over the last half century, in partnership with our aerospace industry, the work of NASA has helped define and strengthen our nation’s technological prowess. From building the world’s most powerful rockets to landing men on the Moon, sending robotic spacecraft throughout our solar system and beyond, building the International Space Station, and launching space-based telescopes that allow scientists to better understand our universe, NASA science and engineering have produced spectacular results. The technologies that emerged from those programs propelled our aerospace industrial base and directly benefit our national security, safety, economy, and quality of life. Through its achievements, NASA has inspired generations of Americans to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, leading to careers that drive our country’s technological and economic engines.

Today, America’s leadership in space is challenged by countries eager to emulate — and surpass — NASA’s accomplishments. To preserve our national security interests and foster innovation and competitiveness, we must sustain our preeminence in space, launching more science missions, guaranteeing unfettered access, and maintaining a source of high-value American jobs.

That's it.

No details about how they would "sustain our preeminence in space." Would they increase NASA's budget? Would they invest more in commercial space? A new Moon program?

Probably not the latter, since Mitt Romney said last January he would fire anyone who proposed spending a few hundred billion dollars on a moon colony. (The Apollo program cost about $150 billion in current dollars.)

Like many of their sibling politicians in Congress, this platform views NASA as a jobs program. Jobs are fine, but they should be a byproduct, not the reason for the program. That's why NASA is so inefficient now, and bogged down by obsolescent technology — politicians tell NASA to use contractors and space centers in their states and districts without any competition or innovation. That sin is bipartisan.

It also should be noted that on Page 3 of the .PDF is this disclaimer:

Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate’s Committee

In other words ... it's meaningless.

I look forward to the Democratic platform to see if it's any more progressive (no pun intended).

UPDATE August 30, 2012 — Public Interest Editor Matt Reed of Florida Today didn't pull punches in this opinion column.

Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee have blown it on space.

For two years, Republicans have accused President Barack Obama of bungling Brevard County’s signature industry. They hammered him in appearances and interviews for canceling Constellation, botching thousands of shuttle jobs and relying on the Russians for lifts to the International Space Station until private U.S. rockets fly.

But given a chance to do better, Republicans in Tampa approved a platform that calls for ... staying the course. Their plan is, literally, Obama’s plan.

And their presidential nominee will have nothing to add between now and November.

1 comment:

  1. Could be worse. Suppose you and I were high school biology teachers, looking for a pat on the back for our hard work explaining evolution to the kiddies.