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Senator Biden on Reinvigorating our Space Program

Press Release From: Barack Obama 2008
Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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Excerpt of Remarks of Senator Joe Biden--as delivered
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 Melbourne, FL

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.

Ladies and gentlemen, the objective was not just to go to the moon. But it was to get another 435,000 engineers and scientists and mathematicians.

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. And John McCain, as Chairman of the Commerce Committee hasn't helped. He oversaw the plan to retire the Space Shuttle before a replacement was ready.

Barack Obama and I have a different idea. We're going to work with Bill Nelson; we're going to invest an additional $2 billion in NASA to reduce the gap between when the Shuttle is retired and the 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.

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