The Presidential candidates have not spoken publicly about their policies regarding Outer Space during the campaign. The AIA (Aerospace Indusries Association) has questions to and answers from John Kerry and George W. Bush on seven key issues titled 2004 Presidential Election Issues. The Kerry/Edwards campaign also now has a brief posted space policy statement that highlights the following five points:
- (1) Increasing funding for NASA to carry on the next generation of missions.
- (2) Pursuing a more balanced space and aeronautics program that assigns appropriate priority to all NASA programs.
- (3) Ensuring that space exploration is a global undertaking that unites all nations in the common quest for greater understanding.
- (4) Putting an emphasis back on aeronautics R&D.
- (5) Improving the management of NASA.
A review of the data indicates that both candidates agree on all of the issues except one, the Bush plan to return to the Moon and send people to Mars. However, Bush has not spoken of this since January when he announced the plan during the State of the Union. A meeting was recently held with many interested aerospace company representatives. The projected cost of the projects are continuing to spiral to as much as $100 billion. New jobs for engineers and professional aerospace workers as well as assemblers are incentives to proceed with the idea. However, the International Space Station project should be completed first. The cooperation from other countries could make the project feasible in this century.
The AIA Press Release "Campaign Officials Stress Importance of Aerospace Industries" identifies aerospace issues and the candidates recognition of the significance of the aerospace industry.