Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Promises about Space on The Obameter

Seek code of conduct for space-faring nations

"Restore U.S. leadership on space issues by seeking code of conduct for space-faring nations, including a worldwide ban on weapons to interfere with satellites and a ban on testing anti-satellite weapons. Initiating and stating a willingness to participate in a regime protecting access to space will help the United States return to a position of leadership in promoting global stability."

Re-establish the National Aeronautics and Space Council

Will re-establish an organizational authority in the federal government with a sufficiently broad mandate to oversee a comprehensive and integrated strategy and policy dealing with all aspects of the government's space-related programs, including those being managed by NASA, the Department of Defense, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Commerce Department, the Transportation Department, and other federal agencies. This Council reporting to the president "will oversee and coordinate civilian, military, commercial and national security space activities. It will solicit public participation, engage the international community, and work toward a 21st century vision of space that constantly pushes the envelope on new technologies as it pursues a balanced national portfolio that expands our reach into the heavens and improves life here on Earth."

Add another Space Shuttle flight

Obama "supports congressional efforts to add at least one additional Space Shuttle flight to fly a valuable mission and to keep the workforce engaged. He will work to ensure there is adequate funding to support that additional flight so that it does not interfere with developing the Shuttle's successor."

Speed up development of the next-generation space vehicle

"Will expedite the development of the Shuttle's successor systems for carrying Americans to space so we can minimize the gap. This will be difficult; underfunding by the Bush administration has left NASA with limited flexibility to accelerate the development of the new systems."

Use the private sector to improve spaceflight

"Will stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop and demonstrate spaceflight capabilities."

Work with international allies on space station

"Will enlist international partners to provide International Space Station (ISS) cargo re-supply and eventually alternate means for sending crews to the ISS."

Partner to enhance the potential of the International Space Station

"Will enlist other federal agencies, industry and academia to develop innovative scientific and technological research projects on the International Space Station."

Use the International Space Station for fundamental biological and physical research

"Will use the ISS for fundamental biological and physical research to understand the effects of long-term space travel on human health and to test emerging technologies to enable such travel."

Explore whether International Space Station can operate after 2016

"Will consider options to extend ISS operations beyond 2016. After investing so much in developing the ISS, it would be a shame not to utilize it to the fullest possible extent."

Support human mission to moon by 2020

Will "endorse the goal of sending human missions to the Moon by 2020, as a precursor in an orderly progression to missions to more distant destinations, including Mars."

Conduct robust research and development on future space missions

"Will support a robust research and technology development program that addresses the long-term needs for future human and robotic missions. He supports a funding goal that maintains at least 10 percent of the total exploration systems budget for research and development."

Increase spending to prepare for longer space missions

Will "support increased investment in research, data analysis, and technology development across the full suite of exploration missions including the Mars Sample Return mission and future missions to the Moon, asteroids, Lagrange points, the outer Solar System and other destinations."

Work toward deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system

"Will lean forward to deploy a global climate change research and monitoring system that will work for decades to come. The recommendations in the recent National Research Council decadal survey on Earth observations from space will guide his priorities in this regard."

Improve climate change data records

"Will strengthen baseline climate observations and climate data records to ensure that there are long-term and accurate climate records. He will not use climate change research data for political objectives."

Enhance earth mapping

"Will continue support for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, which allows study of the earth's land surfaces and provides valuable data for agricultural, educational, scientific, and government use."

Increase commercialization benefits from technology

"Will promote cost sharing initiatives between government and industry to increase the state of the art in various technical areas, such as microelectromechanical systems, nanotechnology, and biotechnology. Obama will establish multi-agency programs that focus on rapid maturation of advanced concepts and transfer to industry for commercialization."

Support commercial access to space

"Will stimulate the commercial use of space and private sector utilization of the International Space Station. He will establish new processes and procurement goals to promote the use of government facilities."

Revise regulations for export of aerospace technology

"Will direct a review of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to reevaluate restrictions imposed on American companies, with a special focus on space hardware that is currently restricted from commercial export. He will also direct revisions to the licensing process to ensure that American suppliers are competitive in the international aerospace markets, without jeopardizing American national security."

Establish school programs to highlight space and science achievements

Through NASA, "will develop K-12 education activities to translate the successes of our civil space programs, particularly our nation's scientific discoveries, our technology developments, and space exploration activities, into instructional programs for our children."