(CNN) - Eight former space executives threw their support behind Mitt Romney Friday, hoping to boost the candidate in a state with enormous stakes in America's space program.
In an open letter, the leaders said Romney was the candidate best positioned to reignite a program they said had languished under President Barack Obama.
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"Restoring the U.S. space program to greatness will require the leadership, management skill, and commitment to American exceptionalism possessed by only one candidate in this race: Mitt Romney," the group wrote in their letter.
In 2010, Obama announced he would cut NASA's lunar program from the federal budget, and focus more on exploration of deeper space. The space shuttle program officially ended in July 2011 with the launch of the shuttle Atlantis. Obama has advocated more private spacecraft for missions closer to Earth.
In their letter, Romney's space supporters described Obama's management of NASA as lacking "purpose or vision or mission."
"This failure of leadership has thrust the space program into disarray and triggered a dangerous erosion of our technical workforce and capabilities," the space leaders wrote. "In short, we have a space program unworthy of a great nation."
The letter also made a point of portraying Romney as realistic about America's space program, a point Romney himself made at Thursday's CNN Florida Republican Presidential Debate.
At the debate, Romney slammed rival Newt Gingrich for proposing expensive space plans in Florida, saying the former House speaker was pandering to the crowd with a vested interest in space investments.
"This idea of going state to state and promising what people want to hear, promising billions, hundreds of billions of dollars to make people happy, that's what got us into the trouble we're in now," Romney said.
The executives backing Romney are Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, USSpace Chairman Mark Albrecht, Space Adventures CEO Eric Anderson, Apollo XVII Commander Gene Cernan, former shuttle pilot Bob Crippen, former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, former National Security Council Director of Space Policy Peter Marquez, and Tufts University Professor William Martel.
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This is entirely a wrong direction for space exploration. Currently, there are a number of large, medium and small firms that are investing resources in commercial space exploration. Space X has one major plant in TX making space rockets, engines, etc and another location in CA. Virgin (Richard Branson) with the state of NM and other large firms have a space port about 90% complete in NM. The Mojave complex has a number of firms working on space exploration. We need to sell/lease all of the major NASA centers to these guys and have NASA play a role similar to the FAA. Our government needs to find non-monetary ways to encourge these firms. There are plenty.
NASA is the only good thing government has ever accomplished. If Romney is going to reinvigorate the space program I may actually consider voting for him.
Actually, I don't envy people with a lot of money, nor do I want to be rich. All of the baggage associated with money is more than I want to haul around. I have enough; what a gift.
@: vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012
"Plus as far as the space program goes the shuttle program was ended by President Bush not Obama, just so happened it ended under Obama's watch."
I guess you could say the same thing about Osama Bin Laden
Imagine the GOP Tea Party howls if Obama had proposed expanding the space program. "Tax and Spend Liberal" , "Spending Money We Don't Have" "Giving Money To Cronies", "When you are in a hole, stop digging" Instead Romney is endorsed and lauded on the assumption he'll expand the space program. So if a Democrat of one color proposes spending it's bad, but if a Republican of a different color proposes spending on the same thing, it's good.
The presidential eolection process is a real joke in this country almost like watching WWE wrestlimg without the physical contact its all FAKE!!
If Obama had thrown money into NASA during this financial metldown
he would have been crucified.
Now he is being crucified for not throwing money at NASA.
Republicans rip him no matter what he does.
***** Do not respond to this person, his mission in life is to bash Obama
Having an opinion is one thing, but he lies and twists facts.
Internet troll at the worst.
Truth and Nothing But the Truth..............................
Nice handle for somebody spouting lies.
Rudy NYC, your words were exactly right, well said.!!! President Obama doesn't do anything half-way, even his singing of Al Green's song, and he will do what money will allow for the spage program. The president is not the one who cancelled the shuttle program. Those employees who actually do the work for NASA do not seem all that "shook-up" over the changes and are encouraged by the new direction.....it's job security for many, and perhaps many of those who were caught up in the lay-off will be rehired, depending on their expertise. I just wish those who say the current president is responsible for the shape the country is in would take look in the mirror at themselves and say "to thine ownself be true." It might get you through the "pearly gates.
Romney must have heard that the Russians were planning to put a man on Mars. Now space travel is Romney's top priority.
Nobody envies narcissists. Welcome to Obama's world.