Senator Barack Obama issued the following statement today on World Space Week and the 50th Anniversary of the inception of NASA:

“This week, we join more than 50 nations around the world in celebrating World Space Week. And this year, as we mark the 50th anniversary of NASA, our space program is at a crossroads.

As other countries are moving forward in space, my opponent’s vision would cause us to fall unacceptably behind. His pledge to freeze all discretionary spending for programs other than veterans and defense would assure the loss of thousands of jobs in Florida, and seriously threaten America’s leadership in space. I have a different vision. My plan to revitalize our space program will reduce the gap between the Space Shuttle’s retirement and its next-generation replacement; and we’ll increase funding for a robust human space exploration program and research that pushes the very boundaries of discovery.

Throughout its history, NASA has united Americans to a common purpose and inspired the world with accomplishments we are still proud of. As President, I will lead NASA down a new path for the 21st century that guarantees our preeminence in space today, tomorrow, and the day NASA celebrates its 100th anniversary.”