Campaign '08

McCain says something about space

But not too much. From an AP article about a Florida appearance by the Arizona senator and likely 2008 presidential candidate:

He also said he strongly supports missions to Mars and that Florida should continue to play a major role in space exploration.

“There’s too much invested there. There’s infrastructure that’s very expensive and very extensive there,” he said.

That’s it. He supports “missions to Mars” (robotic? human? and what about the Moon?) and wants Florida to “continue to play a major role” in space (although there are no credible plans to abandon the “expensive” and “extensive” infrastructure there as part of the Vision for Space Exploration.) Not exactly the most insightful look at a McCain space policy, but given the relative standing of space versus other policy issues, it’s perhaps the best you can expect for the foreseeable future.

6 comments to McCain says something about space

  • anonymous

    Even if McCain’s reference to Mars missions was specific to human exploration, I have a hard time taking such quotes from Presidential candidates on the stump very seriously. Given that the quote was generated near a major NASA field center, it’s hard not to interpret it with a certain amount of skepticism as pandering to the state’s voters. The “very expensive and very extensive” infrastructure reference also sounds like McCain repeated a point made by KSC Director Bill Parsons or another welcoming NASA official from a few hours later. Whether such off-hand parochialism during the campaign translates into White House policy and budgets after the campaign is a very big question mark in my mind.

    But if you’re going to vote space in 2008, McCain appears to be your the front-runner for now… FWIW.

  • It’s better than nothing, much better. Give McCain the chair of the senate space subcommittee but keep him away from everything else.

  • Robert G. Oler

    anything said about human spaceflight is really “to much” (grin)

    unless it is labeled in something other then just space policy, ie reforming government etc, anything said about space really only cost you votes…

    Space is only a vote getter in the very narrow segments of the country where the local federal workforce is dependent on the endeavor. If any politician says “I am going to do X or Y” in space all it does is cost him/her those votes. It wont get him/her any other votes in the country.

    If there is “anything” about McNasty’s statement (and it really is nothing completly nothing) is that he did not take the chance to completly embrace Bush’s “vision”.

    McCain is having to spend a lot of time going around to the GOP base and trying to assure them that “he is one of them” (or at least that they can say that)…and there are things that I think(my own personal opinion) he really doesnt believe (grin), that he really believes but doesnt care all that much about (Roe), and that he really believes in (the situation in IRaq).

    The “Vision” doesnt seem to fall into anyone of those.


  • LetsGetReal

    McCain is quite familiar with NASA’s Mars program on the Space Science side. He is very aware and supportive of the AZ State and Univ of AZ contributions to efforts in this area.

    Several years ago, the Mars Society became very excited when McCain appeared to endorse an initiative that would ultimately lead to landing humans on Mars. I don’t think this is the case anymore.

    My bet is that McCain would want to see continued support of strong robotic exploration, with perhaps technology work in support of future crewed missions. I don’t think he’d be willing to endorse an immediate VSE redirection to Mars. In fact, I wonder if he would embrace the current emphasis on the Moon. Most likely, he would have other non-space priorities.

  • RocketUp

    I spoke to McCain’s Florida HQ this morning trying to get a straight answer on what his views are concerning manned space flight and the Vision for Space Exploration. The guy on the other end told me that McCain actually help write the VSE so he is a strong supporter of it since his name is on it. Right now I’m in the process of trying to verify that fact.

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