Election 2012: The Candidates on Asteroids

Posted on October 10, 2012

It’s the 2012 U.S. presidential race, and one topic is glaringly absent from the public discourse: where do the candidates stand on asteroids?

Let’s look at the incumbent’s record. Two years ago, at the “Conference on the American Space Program for the 21st Century” at Kennedy Space Center, President Obama said that by 2025, “We’ll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history.”

Watch here (it’s cued up to the good part):

Perhaps the most important goal set by any U.S. president in recent history.

Well, Mitt?

Both candidates recently answered 14 questions about science, asked by ScienceDebate.org. Steven Salzberg at Forbes has a good review.

Romney on space: “A strong and successful NASA does not require more funding, it needs clearer priorities. I will ensure that NASA has practical and sustainable missions.”

Salzburg says, “If I worked for NASA, I’d be worried.”

Meanwhile, Obama re-states his goals for a manned mission to an asteroid: “This exciting work will lead us to important new discoveries and take us to destinations we would have never visited.”

Now why should the U.S. voter care about asteroids? Aside from the obvious (blowing them up for entertainment), reasons include Learning Things, Getting Stuff, and Saving the Planet.

So to conclude, President Obama appears stronger on asteroids than Romney; however, both candidates trail woefully behind Scotland for inspired plans about asteroids — specifically, blowing them up. Read about that here.