Press Release

Hillary Clinton’s Agenda to Reclaim Scientific Innovation (Space Policy Excerpts)

By SpaceRef Editor
October 4, 2007
Filed under ,

Editor’s note: We will post any press release or policy statement from 2008 candidates – regardless of party – that deals directly with space exploration. Items overtly dealing with space are in bold

Full Science Policy Press Release

Hillary will enhance American leadership in space, including:

  • Pursuing an ambitious 21st century Space Exploration Program, by implementing a balanced strategy of robust human spaceflight, expanded robotic spaceflight, and enhanced space science activities.
  • Developing a comprehensive space-based Earth Sciences agenda, including full funding for NASA’s Earth Sciences program and a space-based Climate Change Initiative that will help us secure the scientific knowledge we need to combat global warming.
  • Promoting American leadership in aeronautics by reversing funding cuts to NASA’s and FAA’s aeronautics R&D budget.

Enhancing American Leadership in Space

Pursue an Ambitious 21st century Space Exploration Program. Hillary is committed to a space exploration program that involves robust human spaceflight to complete the Space Station and later human missions, expanded robotic spaceflight probes of our solar system leading to future human exploration, and enhanced space science activities. She will speed development, testing, and deployment of next-generation launch and crew exploration vehicles to replace the aging Space Shuttle. And in pursuing next-generation programs, Hillary will capitalize on the expertise of the current Shuttle program workforce and will not allow a repeat of the “brain drain” that occurred between the Apollo and shuttle missions.

Develop a comprehensive space-based Earth Sciences agenda. A National Academy of Sciences report found that “[a]t a time of unprecedented need, the nation’s Earth observation satellite programs, once the envy of the world, are in disarray.” (NAS final report of the Decadal Survey Panel, [January 2007].) Incredibly, the number of operating sensors and instruments on NASA satellites that observe the Earth is likely to drop by 35 percent by 2010 and 50 percent by 2015. Among its many other important purposes, NASA’s Earth Sciences program is vital to our country’s – and the world’s – long-term efforts to confront climate change. Hillary will fully fund NASA’s Earth Sciences program and initiate a Space- based Climate Change Initiative to help us secure the scientific knowledge we need to combat global warming and to prepare for extreme climate events.

Shore up American leadership in aeronautics. At the beginning of this year, President Bush requested roughly $554 million for NASA’s aeronautics research budget, down from more than $1 billion in 2004. The United States has enjoyed a positive trade balance in aeronautics and aerospace technologies that runs into the tens of billions, even as we’ve faced a growing overall trade deficit. To address the twin challenges of a declining skilled aeronautics workforce and increasing global competition in aeronautics, Hillary will make the financial investments in research and development necessary to shore up and expand our competitive edge. She will also work in partnership with industry to build technologies and capabilities that yield benefits far beyond aerospace.

SpaceRef staff editor.