Of all the potential space-related issues that can come up during a presidential campaign, how often do we overlook important topics like this:
Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani on Sunday said preparedness will be key for all crises, even an attack from outer space.
During a town hall meeting in Exeter [New Hampshire], a young questioner asked the former New York mayor about his plan to protect Earth.
“If (there’s) something living on another planet and it’s bad and it comes over here, what would you do?” the boy asked.
Giuliani, grin on his face, said it was the first time he’s been asked about an intergalactic attack.
“Of all the things that can happen in this world, we’ll be prepared for that, yes we will. We’ll be prepared for anything that happens,” said Giuliani, who spent the day campaigning in key early voting state.
Hmmm… this opens up a rich new vein of questioning for all the presidential candidates, not just Giuliani. How do they feel about a Mars sample return mission (after all, there might still be something microbial living on Mars that could be “bad”)? How much funding should NASA devote to astrobiology research? What about searches for potentially hazardous objects (which are not living, of course, but would be bad if one came here)? Who would be the tougher alien invader to deal with, Klingons or Romulans?
Somehow I think that last question has as good a shot of being asked as any of them…