Earlier this week the Greater Houston Partnership and the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership issued a release this week critical of the administration’s human spaceflight plans and asking for a revised plan. They don’t ask for much: a “limited” number of additional shuttle flights, continuation of Constellation, and to “fast-track” a heavy-lift launcher starting in 2011. They notably don’t mention how much doing all of these things simultaneously would cost, or where the funding should come from. The partnerships, of course, are worried about the local impact if the administration’s plan goes through: they fear the loss of “up to 7,000 direct and indirect jobs with a resulting loss of income and expenditures reaching $1 billion in the Houston region.”
In an op-ed in Wednesday’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Space Frontier Foundation co-founder Bob Werb calls for Republicans to continue the fight against socialism—in space. He notes that while the administration’s plan would rely on commercial providers to transport astronauts to LEO while canceling the “socialist boondoggle” called Constellation, “Republicans have been either silent or opposed” to the proposal. “You might think that Florida’s Republicans in particular would embrace this change because it means more jobs for Florida than the prior ‘program of record,’” he writes. “You would again be wrong. Maintaining the socialist status quo seems to be more important than either Republican ideology or jobs for the people of Florida.”
About a month ago Daily Kos published a poll on space spending performed by polling firm Research 2000, that had some interesting results, including that Republicans were more likely to think we spend too much on space. Yesterday the site announced that the polls the company performed for Daily Kos were “likely bunk” based on an independent analysis that found irregularities in the data. Not all the polls were analyzed in the study, and the space spending poll was not specifically mentioned, but “I no longer have any confidence in any of it, and neither should anyone else,” Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas said in a post yesterday.