The blog “A Blog Around The Clock” (part of the Scienceblogs.com network) has an exclusive interview with Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards about science policy issues. One question is devoted to every’s favorite space agency:
3. If elected President, how would you balance the scientific research at NASA with the manned spaceflight program which, arguably, has dubious scientific value?
I am a strong supporter of our space program. It reflects the best of the American spirit of optimism, discovery and progress.
We need a balanced space and aeronautics program. We need to support solar system exploration as an important goal for our human and robotic programs, but only as one goal among several. And we need to invite other countries to share in a meaningful way in both the adventure and the cost of space exploration.
Not surprisingly, there’s nothing particularly detailed or profound in Edwards’ comments. His comments about the need for a “balanced” program echo those reportedly discussed at a Hillary Clinton event in DC last month. The comments about the “need to invite other countries” to participate is a little odd, since NASA is doing that already as part of the Vision for Space Exploration: is he seeking something more than what NASA is doing, or is he just unaware of those plans?