The CNN debates are over for now, and despite fantastic effort by thousands of people across the country, the moderators of the debate have neglected to bring up the important issue of space exploration in our country.
What happens now with all of the energy that we have built up? Have we failed? Have we proven to ourselves and everybody else that space exploration really is destined for the history books, and not for the near term national agenda?
Of course not. In the words on one Clinton staffer, “I’m impressed with the grassroots effort. . . They’ve done more than all the sophisticated lobbyists.” You can bet that Hillary has had discussions and planning sessions behind closed doors about what her space policy is and how she would have responded if a related question had been asked at the debate.
An Obama staffer said “It’s a small but vocal group, and they’ve reached out from the beginning.” He doesn't know how large we are yet.
Whether or not any of the candidates come into the White House with a desire to foster space exploration, whether of not any of the bills listed on the right of the page are ever signed into law, the simple exercise of people getting active in the political process about space exploration in this nation will have a profound effect on the future of the industry. For each person who had the faith to write a letter, to make a phone call, to approach a legislator or candidate in person; the effort to engage will mold them into more potent and willing tools to chip away at the societal walls that keep us from exploring space. The wall is large, and while participants in our effort have different places that they would like to chip, these past two weeks there have been more people chipping than ever.
If the email boxes are full, the fax machines print straight into the trash, the voice mails are deleted without being heard, and the Politico moderators ignore the overwhelming votes for space related questions; the people who sent those messages and votes still have learned that they can, of themselves, take a concrete step in promoting space exploration, and in so doing affirm to themselves that they are not passive observers of this movement, but active players in pushing humanity's knowledge and grasp outward into space.
I started this website because I wanted to go to a website that had the resources that actionforspace.com has. I didn't find it exactly, although I found cues at spacepolitics, nasawatch, the Mars Society, and other sites. I knew that because I wanted a website like actionforspace.com, there must be others who wanted a website like that as well. This has been confirmed by the massive number of new and repeat visitors to actionforspace.com.
We have had an impact. That's what happens when a group of people with a common inclination all point their energy in a specific direction. Reading the varied space related questions on politico.com, it's obvious that we aren't all marching to the same drum, but it is undeniable that a whole lot of people are marching, and the sound of that march is being heard in campaign offices and throughout Washington.
I'm proud of what has happened, and I feel encouraged that sustaining our efforts throughout this election and beyond will bear greater fruits. I pledge to you all that I will continue my efforts running actionforspace.com to make it easier for you to have an impact on the future of the space exploration. I look forward to the continued help and participation with you all. Thanks for your incredible response to the debates in Los Angeles.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
The CNN debates are over for now, and despite fantastic effort by thousands of people across the country, the moderators of the debate have neglected to bring up the important issue of space exploration in our country.
The Government Accountably office has denied Rocketplane Kistler attempt to retain money that had been conditianlly rewarded to them earlier to compete alongside SpaceX in delivering crew and cargo to the International Space Station. This allows for selection of one of four finalists for the remainder of the money: Spacehab, Andrews Space, Orbital Sciences, and PlanetSpace. The Space Prize act and COTS are both aimed at getting private space companies more involved in spaceflight.
Despite no mention of the issue last night during the republican debate, space should be a topic during the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama at the debate tonight. Our popularity among the questions was much higher for the democratic questions than the republican ones. Be sure to watch the debate on TV on CNN or go to cnn.com and stream it live.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
This just in from The Huntsville Times:
"The South Carolina senator is scheduled to land at Signature Aviation at 9 a.m. Thursday. . . Edwards initially planned to stop in Huntsville on Wednesday, but his campaign schedule got rerouted for a trip to New Orleans."There you have it. You have another day to practice your pitch to Edwards. Be sure to mention his letter supporting space exploration and ask him to flesh it out a little.
John Edwards has written a letter to the editor of the Spaceports blog in response to an inquiry about his position on space exploration:
"I am a strong supporter of our space program. It reflects the best of the American spirit of optimism, discovery and progress"
This is exactly the kind of political dialog that we all can engage in to get space exploration on the political map. Thanks, Jack Kennedy, and keep up the good work!
John McCain has posted this on his website (his typo, not mine):
"John McCain has been a strong supporter of NASA and the space program. . ."Also, Former NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe has publicly endorsed McCain:
"His leadership during a challenging time in the rich NASA history helped put our nation's quest for exploration on track. . ."I received this message in a personal email from someone representing his campaign as a response to my inquiry as to why he has appeared so lukewarm on space throughout this campaign:
". . .I can assure you that the McCain campaign will be saying more about space and its importance to not only the American economy and science, but to our very view of our selves."With these three developments over that past day, perhaps we can expect McCain to come out with more pro-space statements.
Monday, January 28, 2008
John Edwards, who supported space exploration 4 years ago in his presidential bid, will be in Huntsville at 3PM:
Go to the airport and tell John that he needs to repeat his support for space exploration this election year as well, especially in Huntsville.
"Edwards, D-North Carolina, will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Huntsville International Airport, according to campaign officials. . .The public is invited to attend the news conference, which will be held in the lobby of Signature Flight Support, 2000 Houston Goodson Way."
Only days before the debates on Jan 30 and 31st in LA! We have only just barely begun to slip in the rankings at the politico page. Go now and vote for the republican and democratic questions! Its do or die time!
* Hillary Clinton holds “Solutions for the American economy” town halls in Hartford, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts before returning to Washington.
* John Edwards meets with union workers in Chattanooga and Nashville, Tennessee and in Springfield, Missouri.
* Rudy Giuliani attends rallies in Sanford, Clearwater, Ft. Myers, Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood, and Miami, Florida.
* Mike Huckabee attends a rally in Pensacola, Florida. Later he attends a closed-press fundraising event, media availability, and closed-press meetings with political leaders, then goes on a tour of Music Row and plays guitar in a recording session, all in Nashville, Tennessee. At night, he attends a rally in Tampa, Florida.
* John McCain holds a national security roundtable with political and military leaders, a media availability and a campaign rally, all in Jacksonville, Florida. Later, he holds rallies in Orlando and Tampa.
* Barack Obama attends a rally in Washington, DC.
* Ron Paul is in Maine. He holds a media availability and meets with voters in Portland, and holds a press conference in Augusta.
* Mitt Romney holds "Change Begins with Us" rallies in West Palm Beach, Ft. Myers, Orlando, Panama City, and Jacksonville, Florida.As to Hillary being in Florida, it appears that she will be taking some time there after the polls close tomorrow.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Hillary is in Florida, contrary to expectation that she, Obama, and Edwards would avoid that state as punishment from the democratic party for moving it's primary date earlier than many other states. Check back here to find out where she is leading up to the vote so that you can go to her and urge her to be more supportive of space exploration than she already is.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
For those of you who want a little more advanced warning of where candidates are going to be than I usually give on this website, here are a few websites that I have found that help me know where that candidates are going to be:
CNN political Ticker's daily "On the Trail" blog posts
Washington Post's "Campaign Tracker"
Barack Obama's event page
Mitt Romney's event page (you need to register to log on)
Hillary Clinton's event Page
John McCain's event page
John Edwards event page
Mike Huckabee's state headquarters' start page
Rudy Giuliani's Florida event page
"NASA currently receives less than 1 percent of the federal budget -- six-tenths of 1 percent, to be more exact. An increase would do wonders without affecting 99 percent of the federal budget. That's the fiscally conservative approach: getting a good return on your dollar."That sounds like maybe he is talking about giving them 1% instead of .6%? I don't know, but statements like this are a good thing for the dialog of this race.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Dr. Jay Buckey is running for a senate seat for New Hampshire. Dr Buckley very likely would be one more vote for getting bills past that are beneficial for space exploration, and perhaps might sponsor other bills beneficial for space exploration efforts in America. Hear him discuss his candidacy and his experiences on The Space Show.
Representative Dave Weldon, of the 15th district which includes the "Space Coast" region, has announced today that he will not be running for another term after being in congress since 1994.
Representative Weldon is currently sponsoring the recently introduced bill H.R.4837 "To authorize the Space Shuttle to be flown from 2010 through 2015, and to authorize appropriations for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for this purpose."
He also was a co-sponsor of the successful H.R.758 "To establish an interagency aerospace revitalization task force to develop a national strategy for aerospace workforce recruitment, training, and cultivation," That was signed by President Bush in December of 2006.
While Weldon's announcement should'nt necessarily impact the course of H.R.4837, it does present an important opportunity to secure a strong advocate for the space industry when he leaves.
Many are planning on running for his spot already. Actionforspace.com will keep you posted on those candidates and other developments as they occur closer to the congressional elections.
It is crunch time in Florida, with only four days left. The Democrats are coalescing in South Carolina.
* Hillary Clinton is at a town hall meeting in Columbia and a rally in Rock Hill.
* John Edwards is in Greenville, Columbia, Orangeburg and Charleston; South Carolina.
* Rudy Giuliani is in Miami, Florida.
* Mike Huckabee Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, and on the radio in Coral Gables, Florida. Call in
* John McCain is in Miami, Tampa, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
* Barack Obama is in Charleston, Columbia, Clemson, and Florence, South Carolina.
* Mitt Romney is in in Miami, Pensacola, and Clearwater, Florida.You telling any of these candidates your opinions on space, even if you are in a crowd of people, makes a difference. If they give you a positive response that you later publish online, it can serve as something to hold a candidate accountable to.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
President Bush has announced a reform to government policies and practices, making it easier for US companies to buy and sell launcher and satellited components, among other things, with other countries around the world.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the issue, ITAR and other restrictions are laws our government has put in place which make it difficult or impossible for US companies to sell things like satellite parts to other countries. This has crushed the US dominance in the world market over things like satellite components. The new reform deals with how licences are granted for import or export of said components. Educate yourself on the issue here, here, here, and here.
A relevant bill relating to licensing imports and exports of items on the munitions list can be read here.
Tonight is the republican debate in Boca Raton. From the ticker: where the candidates will be before the debate
Clinton is in Greenville and Anderson South Carolina.
Edwards is in Greenwood and Seneca South Carolina.
email us and tell us where Huckabee is going to be before the debate in Boca Raton.
McCain holds town halls (see previous post) in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. Later he attends a pre-debate party in Deerfield Beach.
Obama is in Kingstree, and Beaufort South Carolina.
Romney is in Miami (see previous post) before the debate in Boca Raton.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
at 6:45 p.m, Governor Romney attends a pre-debate rally at Bogart's Bar & Grille: Muvico Palace 20, 3200 Airport Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431Go get yourself a burger, sidle up to good 'ole Mitt, and tell him why he needs to give NASA a couple billion more dollars. Tell him what effect if will have on your vote. He seems like a nice enough guy to talk to.
John McCain will be at a town hall meeting in West Palm Beach at 11:00am. The address is the Palm Beach County Convention Center Ballroom A & B, 650 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401Go to the convention center early. Figure out how to get at the front of the question line, and ask something along the lines of
"John McCain, Why don't you make room in your schedule to meet with the Economic Development Council of Florida’s Space Coast and how much money will you increase NASA's budget by when you are president?"That question being asked alone will have a large impact on all of the candidates space positions. Get this issue out in the open! Record the answer with a mp3 recorder and email it to us as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send us an email if you hear word of where Huckabee will be before the debate.
Leonard David, of LiveScience Blogs, got a direct email from Michael Griffin today regarding the recent conference about replacing the Moon mission with an asteroid mission. Mike's commentary highlight the need for people like actionforspace.com readers to show solidarity and support to the next president and congress in public buy-in for the constellation program's current goals and an accelerated expansion to include manned missions to asteroids.
“As I have often stated, human missions to NEOs have no stronger advocate than I, and I hope that a future Congress will add such authorization to future guidance for NASA, without altering other goals. But in other respects, I believe that the 2005 Authorization Act for NASA remains the finest policy framework for U.S. civil space activities that I have seen in forty years." Read the whole article here.
For those living close enough, there will be an activism event in Virginia on March 9th through 12th. ProSpace, an established non-profit with a history of promoting space initiatives in Washington DC, is spearheading yet another successful lobbying effort, but they need your participation:
"Because they've learned what the professional lobbyists know: the only effective way to be heard in Washington is to make your case in person."ProSpace is a organizing entity for regular citizens to present their support to our elected officials. In past years, they have succeeded at lobbying specific bills and saw the results as these bills were passed!
Save March 9th on your calender for this event.
We are having success with the effort in Florida. Today there are opportunities up and down the East Coast to contact the candidates. Be sure to contact them early and ofter, because as time goes by in this election, they w ill be less and less accessible.
On another positive note:
"Lynda Weatherman, who leads the EDC, was not disheartened that first Giuliani and now Romney had made no pledges of budget increases to help NASA bridge the gap. Weatherman said exposing the candidates to space industry issues was only a first step."
From the ticker
Hillary Clinton will be in Philadelphia at City Hall, New Jersey at the "Solutions for America" rallies with Sen. Bob Menendez in Hackensack, North Bergen, and at New York in the evening.
Edwards will be in Bennettsville, Lancaster and Gaffney, South Carolina.
Giuliani is in Estero and Naples, Florida.
Huckabee will be in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Ft Lauderdale residents, Go to him!
McCain holds an economic roundtable and media availability in Orlando.
Obama is at a town hall meeting in Rock Hill, and at another fathering in Sumter and Dillon, South Carolina.
Romney is in Sarasota and Tampa Florida.Good Luck! Let us know how it goes!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Barack Obama is opening up a campign office in Huntsville in a few hours!
Go there and tell him (or his campaign people) that his space policy needs to be revised!
I went to his campaign office opening up in Seattle and there were 3 congressmen there. Odds are, there will be some of his endorsers in Huntsville and you can tell them face to face, as I did in Seattle, how important it is that they support and fund a more aggressive space exploration program.
The office, which will open to the public at 6 p.m., will serve as the headquarters for the Obama campaign's field operations in North Alabama, the campaign said.
The office is at 2227 Drake Ave., Building 27.
Mike Griffin has shared his knowledge that the ARES 1 Shaking problem "was overrated" this morning at a breakfast in Washington DC. "NASA engineers were testing several solutions to the problem."
The problems that Constellation faces now are similar to the problems that Apollo faced in it's day, but there are less cynics today, although you wouldn't know it from reading the news. Of course, after Apollo landed on the moon, the cynics were silenced.
With enough testing and leadership, we can finally realize the eventuality of a robust manned and robotic space exploration program. We will get there by solving one problem at a time.
The first problem is presidential and congressional support. Fax, email, and call all of the candidates to tell them that space policy needs to be a major element of their campaign, or they wont have your vote.
They said it, Space has become a primary frontier as candidates court voters: "It is crude, but compelling, political arithmetic" You all, actionforspace readers, are part of that arithmetic!
This week is crunch time as the Florida primaries are coming up. If there ever was a time to speak up, it is now!
"The group hopes former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee will come this week. Only Arizona Sen. John McCain said no."
"So far, though, there is scant evidence that the voting public has tuned into space policy. . .the country is relatively content with how much money is being spent on space."
This week, especially if you live in Florida, California, Arizona, or South Carolina: be the discontented public.
Today, Tuesday, this is where you can go to make a difference (besides this website's fax and email links)
Clinton will be in Salinas, CA and
Clinton will be in Laveen, AZ.
Edwards will be in Conway, SC.
Giuliani will be in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Huckabee will be in Atlanta, GA.
McCain will be in Pensacola, FL and
McCain will be in Ft Walton Beach, FL and
McCain will be in New York City and
McCain will be in Orlando, FL.
Obama will be in Greenville, SC and
Obama will be in Lexington, SC and
Obama will be in Orangeburg, SC.
Romney will be in Boca Raton, FL and
Romney will be in Coral Springs, FL and
Romney will be in Naples, FL.
Get out of you chair!
Monday, January 21, 2008
UPDATE: After the chips have all fallen, Romney did not come as strong as Rudy Giuliani, at least note at first. He says that he needs to "study" the issue more.
From the Orlando Sentinnel:
Fresh of the press, Romney's statements:
I support the NASA program, the president's vision program, which consists of a manned space mission back to the moon, as well as an ongoing mission to Mars, and with that happy to take any questions you may have.
That sounds to me like he is dodging the commitment to send men to mars.
the key thing is to maintain the technology and the personnel that has the proprietary technology to manage a mission such as the new vision program. And so there's gonna have to be an effort to either narrow the gap or to maintain technology or to provide opportunities for the key engineers and personnel so that we don't lose the capacity to carry the program forward
I'm not prepared to make commitments without having studied things, having grown up in a sector where you study things thoroughly before you make a decision.
Tell him that he needs to start studying things right about now.
we can't afford to lose people who have proprietary technology if we're going to do a successful space program.
A tepid pledge of support, I feel. Our work is not done on Romney.
The EDC sent out invitations for round tables to all the candidates. So far only Arizona Senator John McCain, citing scheduling problems, has outright turned them down. Other candidates, like Mike Huckabee, are still considering it.
As reported by the Orlando Sentinel
“We were extremely fortunate it was Giuliani who accepted to speak to us first," said one space lobbyist. "He bet the farm on Florida… and because he is so desperate he set the bar so high that everyone has to be even more aggressive or be willing to tell people something that they don’t want to hear and be compared to him.”
The problem is that while candidates are indeed starting to speak about space policy in ways that they have not for decades, none have been willing to talk in specifics about funding levels, which is ultimately what it is all about.
Push on Huckabee. Shout at McCain. This sweet spot of opportunity ends after the Florida primaries!
Florida, Georgian, and Louisianan Space supporters:
* Hillary Clinton participates in a King Day prayer service, then marches from the Zion Baptist Church to the South Carolina Statehouse and participates in a King Day event there.
* John Edwards addresses the NAACP's King Day rally at the Capitol.
* Barack Obama participates in the march begins from Zion Baptist Church and attends the rally at the South Carolina Statehouse.
* Rudy Giuliani is in Florida, where he attends rallies in Orlando, Daytona Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach.
* Mike Huckabee attends the Martin Luther King Jr. service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, and hosts a news conference to announce African-American endorsements in Atlanta. Later, he heads to Orlando, where he hosts a media availability and a closed press fundraiser.
* John McCain is in Florida, where he holds a meet and greet and media availability in Miami and a media availability in Jacksonville.
* Ron Paul is in Louisiana, where he visits Shreveport, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
* Mitt Romney is in Florida, where he meets with workers, then with participants in the Jacksonville Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. Later, he holds "Change Begins with Us" tour stops in Daytona Beach and Titusville, and meets with aerospace industry executives in Cape Canaveral.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
UPDATE: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who emerged as the favorite in Saturday's Nevada caucuses, also is now focused on Florida, with a daylong schedule of events Monday that begin in Jacksonville and later span Central Florida.
Romney is slated to be in downtown Orlando around 2 p.m., for an event at CNL Center One on South Orange Ave.
Mitt Romney is in Florida, where he meets with workers, then with participants in the Jacksonville Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. Later, he holds "Change Begins with Us" tour stops in Daytona Beach and Titusville, and meets with aerospace industry executives in Cape Canaveral.
Orlando Readers, go tell Romney what you think at 2PM on South Orange Ave!
Mitt Romney won the Nevada primary this morning. He also accepted the same invitation that Giuliani had acted on yesterday to meet with the Economic Development Council of Florida’s Space Coast.
This is coming on the heals of Giuliani's pledge at this meeting that he would support (aka fund) a robust manned exploration program.
Mitt needs to compete with Giuliani in Florida, where Giuliani is has been putting all of his energy (and money) lately. If Mitt wants to be competitive, let him know that he has to match or beat Giuliani pledge to support spaceflight.
Email Romney and call him at (857) 288-6400. Send him a fax and reiterate it.
Tell him how important it is that he has accepted the invitation of the EDC and tell him that he better deliver a pledge worth of your vote after his meeting Monday (even of you don't live in Florida.)
Clinton, Edwards, Huckabee, McCain, and Edwards all have not agreed to meet with the EDC. Use the links on this page and contact them to tell them that they need to step up. Tell them what Giuliani and Romney are doing. Tell them that they need to accept the invitation from the EDC and publicize a clear supportive space policy.
Word is that Huckabee is on the edge, so be sure to hit him with your message.
Don't let up!
Friday, January 18, 2008
Giuliani stated boldly and unequivocally today his commintment to send humans to the Moon and Mars, among other things. He did this in response to an open invitation to the Economic Development Council of Florida’s Space Coast. Obama, Romney, Huckabee, McCain, Clinton, and Edwards have all received this invitation and not answered to it. The Florida primary isn't until Jan 29, so the other candidates will turn their attention to Florida after the primaries in Nevada and South Carolina are finished tomorrow.
When they turn their attention to florida, lets give them something to think about.
- Fax them all at once
- Email Obama and call him at (866) 675-2008
- Email Romney and call him at (857) 288-6400
- Email Huckabee and call him at (800) 871-6302
- Email McCain and call him at (703) 418-2008
- Email Clinton and call her at (703) 469-2008
- Email Edwards and call him at (919) 636-3131
If you are close to Elko, Nevada go to the Town Hall with Barack Obama at Elko High School at 987 College Ave. The doors open at 2:30 Friday, January 18.
Ask Barack what his space policy is. Tell him how important it is to increase funding.
Or if you feel otherwise inclined,
Go tell Hillary the same thing at Elko Indian Colony Gymnasium, 2250 Indian View Heights Dr., Elko, NV 89801 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM.
Go and talk to the candidate or their policy people. Make it happen.
Florida Today has its finger on the pulse of a visit Giuliani is making to the Kennedy space center this afternoon. Giuliani "He was the only candidate to accept an invitation from the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast." Can a candidate on his last run impact the whole field? If Giuliani is desperate for Florida, he might make some big pledges to get votes there. The other candidates will have more pressure and visibility for their lack of a clearly defined space policy. If you are in the area, head on down to the Radisson Resort at the Port in Cape Canaveral to show him that you are interested. Call up the resort and ask who is interviewing him, and tell them what you want to know.
Each day, we have a new opportunity to promote space in this years election: Sciencedebate2008
Even when a question was asked at the Youtube debate about space exploration, the candidates took it lightly.
Participants from across government, industry, and academia are organizing a debate to be held specifically about science issues. They need our support!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Welcome Budding Space Activist!
This website has had over 50 posts in a few weeks about news and opportunities to take concrete positive action for space exploration in America!
Enter here to get started
We have already had an impact on several of the candidates campaigns!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
The space community had responded to the call and we are coming out en masse to make our voices heard in the Jan 30 and 31 politico debates in Los Angeles. Since Saturday night, the questions have flooded into politico.com for the CNN televised debate. Not only that, but the space questions have been voted to the top of both the Republican and Democratic debates. Wired has reported on our success.
What is different about this political movement from the space community is that it is not the traditional scramble to promote one space initiative over another, but it is an effort to promote space exploration in general to our would be political leaders.
Keep up the good work!
Even before those debates heat up, we have another opportunity to make our voices heard:
CNN's Wolf Blitzer has asked for suggestions to what he might ask. With almost 3000 suggestions as of this writing, I suspect that they might data mine the comments for common themes, so lets get our themes in the debate!
Continue submitting and voting for questions at dyn.politico.com/debate.
We need to band together, and watch out for more opportunities to flex our muscle. Email me or comment about other debates and opportunities to give feedback, so that I can post them here. In the meantime, check here for information about current legislation, threats to the community, and methods to contact our legislators to promote the most noble endeavor the human family has yet embarked on.