Other, States, White House

Richardson speaks out about commercial space again

Yesterday’s rollout of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo vehicle featured appearances by two sitting governors: Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Bill Richardson of New Mexico. However, there wasn’t much in the way of politics at the event other than a brief statement by Richardson, echoing something he said over a year ago:

We know that being the home of commercial space travel is not only going to transform the economic landscape of New Mexico and open up boundless opportunities for our state, but it will make a difference for tomorrow’s astronauts. It will help with math and science instruction, and it’s critically important that America regain its leadership in math and science. [applause] And so today what we have is a launching, a launching of commercial space that hopefully will lead to America’s leadership again. And I call on the Obama Administration to embrace commercial space travel. [applause]

That comment is similar to remarks he gave in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in October 2008 during the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. “[H]ere’s what I want to be sure of: that the Obama Administration is pro-commercial space,” he said at the time. “We’re going to push that. We’re going to make sure it’s pro-space: pro-government space but also pro-commercial space.” At that time he said he didn’t have any interest in taking a position in the administration, only to be nominated to be Commerce Secretary, and then withdraw his nomination because of an ongoing investigation. Richardson was never charged when the investigation concluded this summer, and an appearance at the White House state dinner last month raised speculation that Richardson might be angling for a return to Washington in some manner as he enters his final year in office in Santa Fe.

4 comments to Richardson speaks out about commercial space again

  • CharlesTheSpaceGuy

    Odd choice of words considering the event – do you wonder what Richard Branson was thinking? That he did not build the spaceship to ensure American leadership! But those words by Richardson were not written for the audience at Mojave but the audience in Washington.

  • Anon2

    His only choice is Washington as New Mexico’s two senators are democratic and are not going to be leaving their jobs for the next decade or so. I expect Treasury will be his target as Obama is going to have to find a scape goat if employment doesn’t improve soon and throwing Geithner under the bus would be the easiest way to appease the masses.

  • Robert G. Oler

    I am perfectly happy with General Bolden as the new NASA, if it was not going to be Bolden, and equally good, and perhaps in some way superior choice would have been Gov. Richardson. (although Richardson might feel that is a step down, he was a cabinet level person)

    Human spaceflight really needs someone who can explain commercial space, and why it is important to the future of spaceflight and The Republic in general…

    In general that is what I dont understand about Obama. I just finished a really nice discussion by one of the think tanks about FDR and what he did when he walked on the deck of the Presidency in March. As FDR struggled through the options they clearly emphasized creating all the tools for private industry to thrive…and to maintain the political stability of The Republic

    If Geithner gets tossed under the bus it will be because one of the genius who in theory was an expert on the depression…got the lessons wrong.

    Having said that and being quite critical of the Dems, the GOP is just lost. Go watch Willard Mitt Romney’s babble on the economy and there is nothing but tired answers to old problems. (of course Palin is just nuts)

    Robert G. Oler

  • NASA Fan

    Obama is starting to worry me. My sense of him is he wishes to be thought of as ‘not that guy’ i.e he’s not like those ‘Dems’, or those’ GOP’, or like those ‘past presidents’.

    ‘I’m different’ seems to be where he comes from.

    Which has me concerned that he is going to gen up something for NASA that doesn’t fit what ‘that other guy’ would do, and hence will be viewed as a bit ‘off’ the mark.

    I’m all for commercial space, I’m all for a government role that opens that up. I”m worried we’ll get something that focus’s on ‘inspiring his children’ like he was inspired as a kid, and is an aspect of his marching orders to Bolden (make NASA Great again). Something nutty

    Anyone hearing any ‘leaks’ ? other than ISS till 2020?

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>