Last night I watched the whole State of the Union Address by George "Dubyah" and didn't hear a single word about space. I guess that reflects how much his administration cared about the space program. Though I suppose he had other things on his mind these last seven years. He talked mainly about his strong points and didn't really introduce anything new or radical. Really the only thing new at all that he spoke about was the stimulus plan and possibly more funding for education vouchers.
But onto to more interesting topics. This coming Wednesday, the 31st, the CNN/Politico.com debate is being held between the remaining Democratic presidential candidates. An amazing 20 of the 25 top user submitted questions were involving space policy. For the Republican debate it was a good solid 11 of the 25 top spots. Unfortunately these questions aren't for sure going to be asked, though if any of them do you can give the credit to John Benac, a 2007 college graduate and new father who works as a manufacturing engineer for Boeing on the 737 program, who has successfully harnessed the power of the Internet to put space on the radar of the organizers of the upcoming event. Benac pretty much has been interested in space since he was young and thought that he could try to push it to the political forefront with the help of the Internet. He asked users of astronomy sites to vote for their favorite questions and the result was that the No. 1 most popular question for the Democratic candidates was: "Will you continue to support the NASA Vision for Space Exploration with its goals of exploring the Moon, Mars, and beyond? Do you see a connection between exploration and education?" Though some of the space related questions have slipped in rankings to subjects such as the Iraq war, Katrina, and Social Security, there are still very many space related questions in both the Dem. and Repub. debates.
We can just hope that all of the support for space will translate into actual political action and maintained support. Well as you know, only time will tell.
Image credit: http://www.barrycrimmins.com/images/news/news-demd.jpg