Republican Party Space Policy Focuses on NASA

Mitt Romney. (Credit: Gage Skidmore)

The Republican Platform — a document that lays out what the party stands for in the upcoming Presidential election — includes a brief passage on the nation’s space program. The section is largely focused on NASA and the need to maintain American leadership in this area for the purposes of competitiveness, technological progress, and national security. There is no mention of commercial space nor any specific proposals on programs and initiatives. Nor does it contain any criticism of the Obama Administration.

This vagueness is largely in line with Mitt Romney’s approach to space, which has been to attack the Obama Administration as disastrous while offering no specifics on what he would change.

Read the space section below.

America’s Future in Space: Continuing this Quest

The exploration of space has been a key part of U.S. global leadership and has supported innovation and ownership of technology. Over the last half century, in partnership with our aerospace industry, the work of NASA has helped define and strengthen our nation’s technological prowess. From building the world’s most powerful rockets to landing men on the Moon, sending robotic spacecraft throughout our solar system and beyond, building the International Space Station, and launching space-based telescopes that allow scientists to better understand our universe, NASA science and engineering have produced spectacular results. The technologies that emerged from those programs propelled our aerospace industrial base and directly benefit our national security, safety, economy, and quality of life. Through its achievements, NASA has inspired generations of Americans to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, leading to careers that drive our country’s technological and economic engines.

Today, America’s leadership in space is challenged by countries eager to emulate—and surpass—NASA’s accomplishments. To preserve our national security interests and foster innovation and competitiveness, we must sustain our preeminence in space, launching more science missions, guaranteeing unfettered access, and maintaining a source of high-value American jobs.

In case you were wondering (and I know you were), the section contains exactly 197 words. This is significantly below the 245 words that the Republicans devote to Puerto Rico and America’s overseas territories, which the GOP primarily sees as a source of military recruits, cheap labor and energy resources. (I’m exaggerating only slightly here.)