We're all pretty cognizant of the presidential candidates' views on many of the issues: Iraq, the economy, immigration, health care, etc. Indeed, if you don't know their positions, each candidate's website covers these. But there's a problem with this... no one talks about space science or exploration.
The complete neglect given to space exploration is a bit odd for a country founded on principles of expansion and discovery. Yes, there are some important short-term issues at hand, but getting off this fragile rock and learning about our universal surroundings should be something for which we continually strive. Whereas I personally hope human exploration gets a boost — it is, after all, the impetus for this blog — both NASA and private space companies deserve our respect and funding for all kinds of research, with or without the human element.
You can help. As part of the January 30/31 presidential debates, politico.com has offered the internet community a chance to submit and vote for questions to be asked during the debates. Until recently, space-related questions had dominated the "most popular" section. Now, however, dull and already-answered questions have pushed the space-related questions out of the top positions. While the issues of immigration, Iraq, and the economy still hold value, it's time to hear something new out of the candidates' mouths. In short, I ask all of my readers to do the following:
- Visit the Politico website.
- Click "Vote for Questions Now" and select one of the parties' debates.
- Click the "Most Popular" tab.
- For every space-related question, be it about NASA or private spaceflight, click "vote for this question."
- Repeat from step 2, but choose the other party's debate.
Thank you for taking the time to do this, and please forward this blog posting to all of your friends who you think would care to hear something new and exciting in the debates. If anything else, by voting for space-related questions, you can help put the candidate's on their toes: how much time do you really think they've invested in answering space questions? You can either send your friends the URL in your navigation bar or just click the envelope-with-the-arrow below. Thank you!