Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was in Houston yesterday to make a speech at the “Houston Presidential Energy Summit”, the only one of the three major candidates to speak at the event. According to a report at PoliGazette by someone who is clearly a supporter of, or at least sympathetic to, Clinton, the candidate did briefly mention human spaceflight in her speech:
Differentiating herself with Obama regarding space exploration, Clinton said that she would accelerate development of the space shuttle’s replacement to ensure that America continues to lead in space and does allow “a ten year period in which Americans will have to hitch a ride from Chinese or Russian-made vehicles”.
The “ten-year period” appears to be a calculation based on the current five-year gap between Shuttle and Constellation plus previous statements by Barack Obama that he would delay the Constellation program by five years to help fund his education initiative, although later statements have made it unclear exactly what parts of Constellation Obama would postpone.
Update 1:30 pm: Clinton also addressed space policy at a rally later Thursday evening, as reported by a Huffington Post blogger:
A few minutes later, she moves on to the space program. “And let’s continue to look toward the stars. Houston is the center of space exploration. We need a president who wants to keep sending Americans into space. . . . That’s one difference between me and my opponent. I want Houston to remain the capital of the space program. I don’t want to be sending Americans into space on a Chinese or a Russian manned vehicle.” If her supporters think this is an odd remark, they clap and ululate nevertheless.