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Romney puts forth his space plans at a rally in Florida

In a campaign rally Friday in Florida, Mitt Romney put forth his perspective on the state of the American space program, and what he plans to do about it.

The speech is about 16 minutes long. It is worth listening to it in its entirety.

In it, Romney outlined the reasons he thinks a robust space program is important: defense, innovation, exploration, and the ability to respond to potential natural threats from space. Having done so, however, he then refused to outline any specific actions he would take to address these issues, saying instead that once in office he will bring together the right kinds of space experts who will then advice him on the right kind of plan to achieve all these important goals.

I appreciate his refusal to pander. At the same time, his vagueness does not make me enthusiastic. Moreover, he is only offering us the same thing we have seen numerous times before, another blue ribbon panel study outlining a plan. It would make me far happier if he already understood better the problems of the space program, and could articulate the actions he wishes to take, as Gingrich did.

Nonetheless, his past successes both in the private and public sector suggest to me a strong competence on his part, which also suggests that overall he will do better than the President we have now. Sadly, his speech about space also suggests that on this particular issue, I have no idea what he’ll do.

In the end, the most important thing that can happen in the next nine months is for the private commercial space companies to succeed in bringing cargo to ISS. If they do that, they will force all these politicians to act in the right direction. As Milton Friedman once said,

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.

The more pressure the public and the space industry places on these politicians to do the right thing (shrink the power and size of government, allow freedom and individual dreams of private companies to rule the day), the more chance they will do it, regardless of what they really believe.

One more thought: It is once again clear that it is Gingrich’s actions that are defining the terms of this campaign, at least so far as Florida is concerned. Gingrich has taken the offensive, and forced Romney to respond on a subject that he clearly wasn’t prepared to discuss in detail. And it is this ability of Gingrich that illustrates his strengths as a candidate and campaigner. This fact should weigh on voters minds’ as they enter the ballot box.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • wade

    this guy is a “used car salesman” when it comes to definition. he has a job. Paying Far More than to be the Leader of the Free World. a hoax dressed up as a savior of this


  • Hey Wade I agree I have no idea what Romney believes or doesn’t when it comes to space but you look at Obama campaign speeches on space in 2008 he was out right lying and some people said it at the time, but people wanted to believe that he meant the things he said. 4 years later if its a choice between an uncertain future with Romney or the same broken course with Obama I know which way I’m going.

  • Kelly Starks

    Agree about him basicly just saying we’ll have another blue ribbon panel. Trying to make a plus out of the fact he hasn’t a real oppinion yet.

    Anyway 16 min long. first 6 on space.

    He states that their needs to be a space vision – but says he wont state one until he studies the issue, gather the data, study the data– etc. But he does list topics Science, study dangers for Earth, developnew technology and markets – adn the fact its a key part of american exceptionalism, american spirit.

    Then said he’d bring together a committee of all the groups to decide what the missions should be, which agency should do it.

    Better then Obamas thinking NASA didn’t inspire anymore. Not really inspiring himself.

  • wade

    i am very impressed with both of your opinions. and i agree with them. if obama were ever to be honest…..well, i get the feeling that nearly everything he says is milk toast. either to cover his own ass, or he is only a puppet for a “higher Up” this is just my gut feeling. he Does posses the “gift of gab”. he could sell aluminum siding to a brick home owner

  • Kelly Starks

    Obamas not a puppet – hes a true beleaver in the big gov socialist Keynesian concepts, its all Americas fault internationalism, etc — and hes not used to having to deliver results rather then retoric. And reality is not reacting to his actions like he thinks it should. But he still beleaves in the dogma over reality.

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