Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2012
On the heels of the first successful launch of a private spacecraft to the International Space Station ushering in a new era of space exploration, Obama for America-Florida released the following fact sheet on President Obama's space policy and accomplishments:
President Obama's Accomplishments for NASA and Florida's Space Coast
"I am 100 percent committed to the mission of NASA and its future. Because broadening our capabilities in space will continue to serve our society in ways that we can scarcely imagine. Because exploration will once more inspire wonder in a new generation sparking passions and launching careers. And because, ultimately, if we fail to press forward in the pursuit of discovery, we are ceding our future and we are ceding that essential element of the American character." -President Barack Obama
President Obama has laid out an ambitious new direction for NASA, laying the groundwork for a sustainable program of exploration and innovation. This new direction extends the life of the International Space Station, supports the growing commercial space industry, and addresses important scientific challenges while continuing our commitment to robust human space exploration, science, and aeronautics programs. While the President has a sustainable plan for continued space exploration, Mitt Romney has failed to articulate a commitment to a positive role for NASA in space exploration, and his budget plans would force the deepest cuts to the space program since just after we landed on the moon.
The President has laid out a plan to preserve the future of NASA and the Space Coast:
- Bolster the Economic Vitality of the Space Coast: The President created a Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Economic Development to help Florida's Space Coast adapt and thrive in the years ahead. He also secured significant funding to upgrade Kennedy Space Center and get it ready to launch NASA's new rockets and capsules, setting the stage for new public and private space activity at Kennedy to continue the spaceflight missions. The President is also investing in Space Coast's workers and clean energy businesses.
- Maintain Our Ability to Send Spacecraft into Low Earth Orbit: The President added two more Space Shuttle flights - extending the Space Shuttle's service a year past its planned retirement and into 2011. He also prioritized NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo program, which offers the quickest possible path to restoring America's ability to send people into space.
- Pursue A New Launch System to Help NASA Sustainably Continue Its Mission of Space Exploration: To push farther out into the solar system, to the moon and beyond, to asteroids, and eventually to Mars, NASA is planning a rocket, the Space Launch System, to be the backbone of its manned spaceflight program for decades. It would be the most powerful rocket in NASA's history. The SLS rocket retains the most promising elements of the Constellation program, like the Orion capsule, and puts NASA on a more sustainable path continue our tradition of innovative space exploration.
Under President Obama's plan, the Space Coast will be at the center of America's commercial space industry as NASA continues its mission of research and exploration.
- Construction of new commercial spacecraft at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, is expected to create 550 new jobs in the next three years. NASA announced in October that it would partner with the private sector to manufacture and assemble a new model of spacecraft here in Florida. This partnership will ensure that we'll continue manned low-earth-orbit spaceflight while creating 550 jobs in the Space Coast over the next three years. This agreement also cements Kennedy as an active, viable site to develop, test, and launch vehicles.
- The historic launch of a privately-owned spacecraft to the International Space Station will highlight the revitalization the Space Coast is seeing thanks to President Obama. Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station served as the launch pad for the first privately owned space vehicle to dock with the International Space Station. The powerful and reliable Atlas V rocket, which also launches from Space Coast, is the rocket of choice for other new commercial crew vehicles competing to get our astronauts to the ISS and help close the spaceflight gap.
- President Obama is helping NASA make progress on new vehicles for human spaceflight so we can send astronauts further into space than we ever have before. This March, NASA's Space Launch System successfully completed its first development milestone, moving us closer to its planned first launch in 2017. The Orion spacecraft will be NASA's new vehicle for manned space exploration, and just last week a prototype test vehicle was delivered to Kennedy Space Center after successful testing.
Together, we are developing the technology to ensure America remains the world's leader in space exploration and laying the groundwork for a Space Coast economy built to last. NASA, the private-sector's innovation, and Space Coast's hardworking Americans are making it happen.
Mitt Romney won't offer the leadership American space exploration needs:
- Romney's budget plans would require slashing important investments in our future, and could force the deepest cuts to the space program in almost 40 years, since just after we landed on the moon. This would devastate the critical investments we need to close the spaceflight gap and ensure a bright future for NASA. A Romney NASA budget would take us backward from maintaining America's rightful and historic place as the leader in space exploration. It would deny Space Coast and the nation the promise of innovation, scientific discovery and economic progress that is on the horizon.
- Mitt Romney will say anything to distort the President's support for continuing America's strong tradition of manned spaceflight. Romney's record offers a clear contrast for those who care about innovation and the economic future of Space Coast. When asked about NASA's role in space exploration, Romney was unsure. After studying the issue for four years since his last run, Romney still can't specify how he'd handle space exploration.
Contact: OFA-Florida Press Office: FLPress@BarackObama.com, (813) 449-2495
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