Romney Offers Broad Space Policy Outline

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Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney said U.S. leadership in space is “eroding” under current President Barack Obama and that the nation’s overall space program lacks a clear direction and purpose.

In a response to science policy questions posed to the Romney and Obama campaigns by the website ScienceDebate.org, the challenger reiterated earlier assertions that as president he would bring together stakeholders from the civil, military and commercial space communities to develop a comprehensive and cohesive policy. Responses from both campaigns were posted online Sept. 4.

Romney said NASA does not need more funding but rather, “it needs clearer priorities.” He pledged to pursue a balanced mix of science and “inspirational” exploration programs.

Romney also pledged to fund a robust national security space program, ease export controls “as appropriate,” and engage in international partnerships to pursue common goals in space.

Obama’s remarks focused almost entirely on the civil space program. He reiterated his goals for NASA, including “sending humans farther into space than we have ever been — to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars in the 2030s.”