Space Exploration and the Presidential Campaign

As most of you may have heard, President Barack Obama briefly brought the funding of space exploration as an argument in the debate Monday night. Both candidates pledge to keep America ahead in Space Exploration, but who has been more proactive in securing our leadership in the cosmos?

In 2010, President Obama cut Bush’s Constellation Program, which would bring humans back to the moon by 2020. This decision was in lieu of the Augustine Commission’s Report, which determined that the program was over-budget, underfunded, and behind schedule.

While the program may have been scrapped, NASA Deputy Chief assures us that a manned lunar trip will happen again within the next decade.

While Obama may not be as proactive as he should,  Romney is flaunting a document declaring his pledge to remain the world leader in space exploration. A step-by-step plan has not yet been released by the Romney/Ryan Campaign, and the document more or less bashes President Barack Obama for diminishing America’s Space Program. It’s probably safe to say that NASA isn’t anywhere near the top of Romney’s to-do list. And with all the budget cuts he plans on doing, an increase to NASA is more than likely out of the question if Romney is elected.

So where does that leave Americas Space Program?

The proposed budget for 2013 will be $17.7 Billion under the Obama administration. That’s $1 Billion dollars less than it was at the beginning of his presidency. Space Exploration and research has proven to provide profitable returns. Cutting the budget is a wrong step in the progression of our society.

National Radio Astronomy Observatory Response to the 2012 NSF Portfolio Review Committee Report


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a national scientific resource for astronomy. The Observatory’s radio telescope suite includes the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA). These research facilities are a synergistic, operationally-coordinated group of unique instruments that embody US global leadership in radio astronomy and complement current and planned major astronomical research tools, both space-borne and ground-based. NRAO facilities enable fundamental astronomical research across a vast wavelength range: 0.3 mm to 1m. While individually unique, these facilities are also complementary. The recently completed Jansky VLA will be the most powerful and versatile cm-interferometer for at least the next decade. The GBT provides sensitive single-dish wide-field imaging and spectroscopy up to 3mm, and is the premier pulsar-timing instrument. The VLBA performs imaging and astrometry with the highest available spatial resolution and precision, and provides earth orientation and rotation information to support civil and defense applications. The soon-to-be completed ALMA represents a quantum leap in millimeter astronomy that is already opening exciting discovery space on the thermal cosmos.

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