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Democratic VP nominee Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) addressed a campaign crowd in Melbourne, Florida (on Florida's Space Coast) Tuesday night, responding to Sen. John McCain's comments about the economy and promoting the Obama-Biden policy plan to invest $2 billion in America's space program.

"The Bush Administration has left our space program in a very difficult position, and John McCain, as chairman of the (Senate) Commerce Committee, has not helped," remarked Sen. Biden. "He oversaw the plans to retire the Space Shuttle before a replacement was ready."

Here is a portion of his speech:
(More on the flip...)

"When John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to go to the Moon, he noted that the space industry not only demanded the best minds, it also created the best jobs...

"When the Shuttle is retired, NASA estimates that 3,500 jobs could be lost - and that doesn’t count the impact on local businesses, or the long-term cost of allowing our global leadership to atrophy. The Bush Administration has left our space program in a very difficult position...

"Barack Obama and I have a different idea. We’re going to work with Bill Nelson (U.S. Senator, D-FL).  We’re going to invest an additional $2 billion in NASA to reduce the gap between the Shuttle's retirement and when the next generation of space flight is introduced.

"We want to reinvigorate our national space program and that includes creating an environment for a vibrant commercial space program. (!!!)

"What John F. Kennedy said 46 years ago, still resonates with us today: 'Now it is time to take longer strides... for this nation to take a... leading role in space achievement.'  That’s as true today as it was then. Folks, that’s the goal that Bill Nelson, Barack, and I share.

"As it did in the Kennedy Administration — it will help create a new generation of engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and a few more astronauts - like Bill Nelson, as well. It’s a goal that will not only inspire the nation, it will also create jobs."

Last week, Senator Biden was a guest on the Denver TV station KUSA.  A Lockheed Martin employee's question asked of Sen. Biden was about how her fellow coworkers were convinced that an Obama Administration would mean "budget cuts for NASA and other science-based research". Here is the senator's response:

"Absolutely the opposite. I was just in Florida, and we were talking about what we’re going to do, how we’re going to make jobs available within the space program. We think there should not be this hiatus between the present vehicle we have and the new vehicle. We think we should be investing right now.

"John McCain’s the guy that’s going to interrupt this flow. So the fact of the matter is, as it relates to our NASA programs, (aerospace) will do much better under Barack Obama and Joe Biden than they’re going to do under John McCain, and he has so stated."

According to CNN's "Political Ticker," today will be the last day of Sen. Biden’s three-day bus tour through Florida. Each of his events are called an "Early Vote for Change Rally," and in addition to asking Floridians Tuesday night to vote early, Biden noted that Florida’s governor – and McCain backer – Charlie Crist --  had extended the hours for early voting, declaring a literal "state of emergency" as voters turn out in record numbers.

Sen Biden will be in Jupiter, Florida today, at the Abacoa Town Center, for a 10:15 am campaign event.

Go Joe, Go!!!

Originally posted to Erin13 on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 06:50 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Commercially viable space program in 3 words: (7+ / 0-)

    reduce launch costs.

    Whether that means using cheaper launch vehicles or simply subsidizing launches of commercial payloads, that's what it'll take to get U.S. businesses with an interest in space back under the NASA umbrella.

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    by ticket punch on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 06:57:29 AM PDT

    •  Look Up LC-36 at CCAS and What's Happening there (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Erin13, ticket punch, Patch Adam

      Commercial space activity is ramping up quickly at KSC.  Recently,

      Spacehab and its Astrotech subsidiary, leading providers of commercial space services, join with Space Florida in recognizing the immense opportunities for America's commercial space program in the joint Air Force Space Command and Space Florida Dedication Ceremony of Launch Complex 36. The Ceremony marked the symbolic "groundbreaking" following the announcement by the Air Force Space Command of its commitment to commercial space and its intention to lease LC36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to Space Florida. The

      LC-36 and Space Florida are part of the future at CCAS/KSC.  Ares and other associated exploration missions will remain a part of NASA.

      We need both.

    •  A launch loop would certainly do this. (4+ / 0-)

      And building one of those might create just a few jobs.

      Just a few.

      Let's dream big, people!

  •  This is great news for the I-4 Corridor (4+ / 0-)

    Not only is Biden correct about the effect of the space program, he is also giving the ticket a boost in the critical central Florida region where the space industry is key to the local economy.  

    From Orlando east,  Daytona south to past Melbourne, one way or the other, most folks' livings tie into the space program and the aerospace industry.  They may be NASA employees, or contractors, or perhaps support for those two groups.  Those folks also contribute heavily to the area economy in terms of housing and other ancillary businesses.

    Laying off thousands when the Shuttle retires before a replacement is ready would devastate an area that has never fully recovered from the end of Apollo.  Biden not only said the right things, he indicated that the Obama administration would DO the right thing down there.

  •  Colorado Springs is home to Spacecomm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Erin13, revgerry

    the Airforce Space command is in Colorado, so this plays well there.

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