As noted in the comments to the previous entry, some news articles, like this Information Week report, claim that Kerry is backing a budget increase for NASA. As the article puts it, “Kerry also said he would increase funding for the National Science Foundation, NASA, National Institutes of Health, Energy Department, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology…” However, if you actually look at the plan itself, you’ll see something subtly different:
John Kerry will boost support for the physical sciences and engineering by increasing research investments in agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Energy, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Increasing “research investments” is not necessarily the same as increasing overall agency budgets: funding could simply be shifted from operational to research programs, for example. That snippet is also the only section of the nine-page document that specifically mentions NASA.
However, later in the same document Kerry comes out strongly in favor of one popular instrument of space commercialization advocates, prizes:
Prizes have a number of advantages as a tool for stimulating technological innovation compared to traditional grants and contracts. For example, they allow the government to set a goal, while allowing researchers and entrepreneurs to pursue different strategies for reaching that goal. The private sector’s X Prize illustrates the power of this approach. This prize has captured the public imagination, and encouraged two-dozen teams of rocket scientists from around the world to develop reusable spaceships. The Kerry plan would provide every science agency with the authority to establish prizes to foster technological advances.
While this doesn’t specifically mention NASA, this suggests that regardless of the fate of the Vision for Space Exploration under a Kerry Administration, the Centennial Challenges program would stand a good chance to continue.