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Government NASA Space Politics

Florida Group Wants To Make Space a 2016 Presidential Campaign Issue (examiner.com) 118

MarkWhittington writes: According to a story on News 13, an Orlando TV station, Space Florida is working to make space a political issue in the 2016 presidential election. Thus far the campaign for the presidency has been dominated by more mundane issues such as the economy, illegal immigration, and the threat of terrorism. Space Florida, which is "the State of Florida's aerospace economic development agency," is said to be "working with three other battleground states to make sure America's space program is a part of the campaign for president." Presumably one of those states is Texas, which has lots of electoral votes
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Florida Group Wants To Make Space a 2016 Presidential Campaign Issue

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  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @08:02PM (#50977933) Journal
    They won't have to work hard, considering "space" has been an issue for every election as long as I've been able to pay attention to elections.

    Like four years ago......as soon as it was time for the Florida primaries, every candidate started talking about their space plan. After the Florida primary was over? Never mentioned again.
    • On the GOP side, there are quite a number of candidates who are opposed to any Federal spending in space until the budget mess is fixed. In fact, this cycle, I'm not sure that there is anybody who actively supports a Federally run space program.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Candidates and presidents promise grandiose things like Mars-nauts or moon-bases, but don't bother to fund them. They want to give Kennedy-esque speeches but don't want to pay Kennedy's bill.

    • It's pointless to try to get the politicians to care until after you've got the voters to care.

      "Care" of course means more than agreeing in principle that having a space exploration plan would be a good thing; it means when progress doesn't happen you get upset. Most people think some kind of space exploration plan would be a good thing, but very few care when it doesn't happen.

    • TV13 News is a partnership between Bright House Networks [wikipedia.org] of Central Florida (cable TV and ISP provider) and the Orlando Sentinel [wikipedia.org]
      (major local newspaper).
      They are, shall we say, left of center.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As it should be. Space travel and exploration are the future of the human species. Politicians not giving it priority are either in denial or ignorant of this fact, in which case they are foolish, or simply don't care, in which case they are psychotic. Humanity's long term plan should always be a focus.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msauve ( 701917 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @09:12PM (#50978211)
      "Space travel and exploration are the future of the human species."

      Oh, bullshit. Not for the next presidential term, not for the next century, probably not for the next millennium. If you think investment in space is more important than, say, ensuring the future habitability of Earth, you are foolish, or simply don't care, in which case you are psychotic.
      • Well, that must explain why there's so many dinosaurs around.

        If you think investment in space is more important than, say, ensuring the future habitability of Earth

        I was unaware those were mutually exclusive.

        • by msauve ( 701917 )
          "Well, that must explain why there's so many dinosaurs around."

          Because they elected a president who cut funding for their space program?
  • I dont understand the authors snarky tone when writing this. Space travel and exploration is important on so many levels, one of which is the economy! It baffles methat someone would try to negatively spin space exploration as a important issue on slashdot, especially with their already tiny an evershrinking budget.
    • by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @08:19PM (#50978009)

      I dont understand the authors snarky tone when writing this

      The snark is that it's a pretty transparent attempt to get more pork for their state. Florida, Alabama, and Texas are the three states with major NASA facilities, and there are a lot of contractors who work in those states to support NASA.

      Space travel is important. But a group whose business depends on government pork is likely not the most impartial group to be delivering that message. Porking NASA is how we got the Senate Launch System in the first place; NASA doesn't really want it, but it's being forced upon them by senators who want to keep government contracts in their state.

      • Then it should be towards Florida instead of space exploration.
      • More to the point, the budget (and economy) is mostly in the hands of Congress. The President only suggests a budget, Congress hashes out the details (they can completely ignore his suggestion if they want). The President can then approve the entire thing or veto it. He has no power to influence a single particular budget item, it's all or nothing.

        The Executive branch's powers focus mostly on law enforcement (illegal immigration, NSA monitoring, etc) and foreign relations (including responses to terro
    • Space travel and exploration is important on so many levels,

      And that's why it shouldn't be left to Florida legislators or government military contractors.

    • Well, let SpaceX run it. There is no reason for NASA to get taxpayer money, given the trillions of $$$ debt. In fact, privatize NASA, and then let them figure out how to run a business
      • by meglon ( 1001833 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @10:12PM (#50978381)
        Yes, because every time you privatize something, the costs go up. Businesses call it: profit.

        I seriously wish all the fucking asswipes who hate this country, and society in general, would do humanity a favor and go fucking live on their own out in the woods till they realize that they ain't shit without society being there for them; fucking ungrateful little inbred brain-dead whiny bitches. What we need to do is kick all the worthless fucking trash politicians out of government who actively try to destroy our government from the inside. Fucking anarchists.
        • Like someone else said elsewhere in this page, you Liberals voted for an agenda where spending trillions on Obamacare was important, and Space was nowhere in the list. So no need to moon people who suggest where Space enthusiasts should go. Given the national debt and priorities like National Security, the economy, healthcare and so on, it's gonna be a while before any government - (D) or (R) - can fund anything going on in space. So privatizing it is one way to ensure that it stays - if it remains unde
          • by meglon ( 1001833 )
            Jesus... seriously... is there no conservative out there who has enough integrity to imply not fucking lie? Us liberals didn't vote to spend trillions on the ACA because TRILLIONS HAVEN'T AND WON'T BE SPENT ON IT. Pull your head out of your ass. And YES, it was fucking important to people that actually care about their fellow citizens to do what they could to see they could get the medical care they might need, as opposed to the fucked up conservatives who would rather see people just die. https://www. [youtube.com]
            • We had 8 years of you Dems. The national debt should be near zero, not in the trillions. Rest of what you wrote is just horsemanure.
            • But lets make sure we get this straight.... privatization ALWAYS increases costs, and only blind deaf idiots miss the point where the government covers those costs AND MORE through new "subsidies" for the corporations who now have control over what SHOULD BE working for the people of this country. Look at what happened to Medicare B. It is the poster child for what shit happens when "privatization" happens. Services go down, costs go up, everyone's screwed except the corporations.

              Your analysis is essential

          • Here's the thing:
            The existence of NASA is totally irrelevant to whether SpaceX can get the Billion$ necessary to go to Mars through the private market.

            In a lot of ways extra NASA spending would help SpaceX get to Mars because they'd probably be able to piggy-back on some of NASA's efforts (ie: a NASA contractor develops a great new rocket technology with government money, that it then sells to SpaceX), but there's no way it hurts it.

            Hell, if we declare that the government can't do shit with $15 Billion a ye

        • Yes, because every time you privatize something, the costs go up. Businesses call it: profit.

          The two are different concepts. Government organisations can be run for profit and many around the world are. Likewise it's possible to increase profit without increasing the cost to the end user by reducing waste, that is one thing the government has LOTs of. You just don't see it because your tax bill isn't itemised as well as a shareholder quarterly report.

          There's good reason to privatise a lot of what many governments do. But there's also good reasons NOT to privatise anything critical enough to require

        • I seriously wish all the fucking asswipes who hate this country, and society in general, would do humanity a favor and go fucking live on their own out in the woods

          I immigrated to this country precisely because it still has less government and more individual liberty than other nations. I would prefer it if people like you didn't turn it into the kind of depressing paternalistic dump that I came from.

          What I don't get is why people like you don't do the reverse: go to Europe, where government is as socialist

    • Which is tantamount to saying that it's important that the government just spends money, regardless of the end purpose, no?

  • Will not work (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Saturday November 21, 2015 @08:32PM (#50978057) Homepage
    Oh, they can get empty promises, but that's it.

    But the GOP is in control of the purse strings and they want to de-fund even essential services. No way will they invest in the future without another space race. Our current enemies are terrorists who can't come close to racing against us.

    No competition = no race = no funding for space.

    The only way I could it happening is if we had first contact of some kind. So I put the odds at about a 100 million to one, against.

    I'm more likely to win every single lottery and put all the funds toward a trips to mars.

    • by khallow ( 566160 )

      But the GOP is in control of the purse strings and they want to de-fund even essential services.

      Right, must not be essential then.

  • this post is a cartoon.
  • Looking at the issues mentioned in the summary:

    - economy: the government does not have direct control over the economy. At best, they can hope to attempt to influence economic development. Yet they cannot make promises.
    - illegal immigration: the government does not have direct control over illegal immigration. At best, they can hope to attempt to deter illegal immigration through expensive or draconian policies. Again, they cannot make promises.
    - terrorism: the government does not have direct control ov

    • " the government does not have direct control over terrorism."

      The government has no direct control over its own behavior? Oh, you meant all terrorism not perpetrated by US.

    • economy: the government does not have direct control over the economy [...] Incidentally, none of this is specific to space exploration. Figuring out what you have some degree of control over should be one of the things that anyone considers when evaluating campaign promises

      Which means that if a candidate promises that under his government, the economy would do X, while under his opponent's government, the economy would do Y, we should consider that candidate a liar. Yet, we keep electing such liars based o

  • NASA is desperate for the Pu-238 needed to create radio-thermal generator units. To make this material requires a nuclear reactor. Most any nuclear reactor will do but some are more suited to this task than others. Liquid fluoride thorium reactors are a prime candidate for this, they can make the Pu-238 in normal operation while also producing power and other valuable radioactive isotopes.

    The heat from a LFTR reactor is high enough that it makes cracking water into hydrogen for rocket fuel a very efficie

    • We are not going to send people to space with an economy based on "green" energy like wind and solar.

      Do you think the people who favor "green energy" care? To them, anybody who talks of space exploration is a "space nutter".

  • Florida wants to remake "Meat in Space."

    Both programs have roughly equivalent scientific value. Unmanned stuff, on the other hand makes a lot of sense.

  • they wouldn't need more space.

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