A Digested Version of the AIAA Presidential Campaign Questionnaire Briefing to the ACGSC By Phil Hattis, AIAA VP for Public Policy
AIAA Presidential Campaign Project: Objectives and Process • The AIAA Public Policy Committee (PPC) and Technical Activities Committee (TAC) formulated key policy questions drawn from all areas of AIAA member interests • The questions were intentionally made brief to make sure responses did not draw on material included in the question submittal package • They were designed to encompass the issues of greatest importance to AIAA members • The questions were submitted to the campaigns of both Senator McCain and Senator Obama in early July • Responses were printed in an Aerospace America (AA) October issue insert • PPC and TAC members prepared added background material (after the candidates had the questions) to inform AA readers about the motivation for each question • In the end, candidate responses had to be extracted from their public policy statement releases (with much AIAA public policy staff work involved) • The questions, background material, and derived policy responses from each candidate are printed in parallel in the AA insert with no political bias
An Important Disclaimer • The digesting of the complete candidate statements was done solely by Phil Hattis for this presentation • Please blame Phil for any errors made in that process • See the October 2008 Aerospace America insert for the full candidate position statements • “Election 2008: The Candidates Vision for Aerospace,” a special supplement to Aerospace America
Question 1: The Vision 1. What is your vision and timetable for future US Achievements in space and aeronautics? a. What policies and resources will you apply to realize that vision? Background Our nation is at crossroads for space and aeronautics policies. US human launch capability is scheduled for a lengthy hiatus with the pending retirement of the Shuttle, with the future direction of follow-on human exploration programs still being vigorously debated. Requested and approved funding to develop new human spaceflight vehicles has been well under original projections. National aeronautics research funding has taken precipitous cuts over the past decade, with most of the historical military sponsorship eliminated, and the on-going NASA sponsorship in a steady decline. Another consequence of these trends: Much of the applicable research sponsorship to universities in the space and aeronautics arenas has been withdrawn to better sustain in-house government research. Some of the issues encompassed by this question include the following: The level of perceived importance assigned to space and aeronautics research and development The future direction of national space exploration programs and the role of human spaceflight in those programs The expected role of the federal government in advancing the state of the art in aeronautics and astronautics The sustainability of US leadership in aeronautics and space capabilities
Question 1 Major Response Points McCain Obama • Support use of space as science observation platform (including for climate change) • Support X-prize-type activities • Invest in key space industries • Justifies human spaceflight for going beyond science benefits • Control costs and assure sound program management • Complete the International Space Station (ISS) • Pursue current human exploration goals • Establish robust and balance civilian space program that inspires • Address climate change, energy independence and aeronautics research • Reach out to international partners, while maintaining US leadership • Assure a strong aeronautics industry, and air traffic efficiency • Develop technologies that enable competing effectively in the international marketplace
Question 2a: Getting Youth Into Aerospace 2. What will you do regarding the following issues facing the aerospace sector? a. Getting enough of our youth motivated to seek aerospace careers while affording and obtaining the educational preparation necessary to provide a quality replacement for the rapidly aging aerospace workforce. Background The aerospace workforce is aging--in the next 10 years, the aerospace industry faces the challenges of losing a significant part of its workforce to retirement. To obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to replace these retirees, the youth of our nation require higher education in aerospace-related fields. However, it is increasingly difficult for young people to afford this education as costs continue to rise. To make matters worse, the talented youth of our nation once educated are shying away from careers in aerospace in ever-increasing numbers instead opting for other high-tech careers. Key factors that discourage them from pursuing aerospace careers include flat salaries, job insecurity, and less desirable working conditions. The issue has two major facets: How to financially enable our nation’s talented youth to obtain quality education in aerospace-related fields; how to-energize and motivate young adults, after being properly educated, toward seeking and keeping careers in aerospace.
Question 2a Major Response Points McCain Obama • Ensure space exploration is a top priority • Commit to the NASA constellation program • Utilize the ISS as a national laboratory • Maintain space infrastructure • Ensure the national space workforce is maintained and fully utilized • Prevent earmarks from diverting precious resources • Reestablish the Space Council in the Administration to oversee space program coordination • Solicit public and international participation in working toward a 21st century vision of space that constantly pushes the envelope
Question 2b: Capability Preservation 2. What will you do regarding the following issues facing the aerospace sector? b. Long-term preservation of aerospace work force capabilities that are critical to national security when there are few development programs to maintain proficiency in many of those capabilities. Background Some products and capabilities that are critical to national security applications have very limited parallel civil use, or demand added capabilities that go beyond civil usage needs. Consequently, when there are long gaps between US development programs for systems using those products and capabilities, then the US production base and expertise associated with these products and capabilities erodes or disappears. A military and civil-space trend in recent years has been to have far fewer major system development programs, lower production bases for the products resulting from those programs, and much longer gaps between the start of such programs. Consequently, access to an increasing number of products and capabilities critical to national security are at risk. Example areas of concern include means to develop high thrust hydrocarbon-fuel rocket engines (with recent reliance on Russian engine technology) and continued advancement of radiation hardened processors. When these domestic production bases and associated technical capabilities disappear, the result is either high costs and delays associated with the reestablishing the capabilities when needed again, or reliance on foreign suppliers that may have conflicting national interests. The candidates’ views are sought on this matter to determine if they recognize the scope of the problem and to determine if they have proposed strategies to sustain these critical capabilities.
Question 2b Major Response Points McCain Obama • Place a priority on science and technology experience • Assure appointees have adequate experience and understanding • Fill critical shortages of skilled workers (including more visas for top-notch talent) • Retrain displaced workers • Target educational grants to minorities and low-income students • Advance new frontiers in applicable technologies which advance exploration and also have major technological benefits • Encourage cooperative framework for long-term and sustainable international exploration initiative • Use space exploration as a tool of global diplomacy • Continue NASA architecture studies and advanced planning to ensure the American space workforce remains engaged in long-term, collaborative, and cost-effective exploration of the Moon, Mars, and beyond
Question 2c: ITAR 2. What will you do regarding the following issues facing the aerospace sector? c. Adverse economic and intellectual exchange effects resulting from the current International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) regimen. Background The U.S. Government views the sale, export, and re-transfer of defense articles and services as an integral part of safeguarding national security and furthering foreign policy objectives. The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) provides the authority to control the export of defense articles and services, and charges the President to exercise this authority. Executive Order 11958 from January 1977 delegated this statutory authority to the Secretary of State. ITAR is the set of regulations used by the Department of State (DoS) to implement this export-control authority. Any export of articles and services which are specified in the U.S. Munitions List (USML) requires a license issued by the DoS's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) with the concurrence of the Department of Defense. Before issuing the license, DDTC reviews all parties to the proposed transaction(s), clarifies the ultimate end-use and end-user(s) of the export, and verifies that the export cannot be resold or retransferred without prior U.S. Government authorization. (Continues on next page)
Question 2c: ITAR (cntd.) Background (cntd.) ITAR export controls are currently applied to the transfer of goods as well as of knowledge. The regulations impose bureaucratic requirements that add costs to the export process and can delay program execution by US firms, universities and other organizations. Other possible consequences include a reduction of American competitiveness in the global economy and stifled innovation. In some instances, ITAR imposition has resulted in re-creation abroad of capabilities protected by the regulatory regime (as a strategy to avoid ITAR impacts). Among these instances are a few that resulted in the loss of domestic defense-related capabilities and/or production bases (e.g., the US share of commercial-satellite manufacturing has fallen from over 80% before 1999 to 50% now).. Therefore, it can be argued that ITAR sometimes weakens national security by introducing disincentives for collaboration by potential overseas partners, by generating competition in areas in which the U.S. would otherwise have had a competitive advantage, and by weakening some US industrial sectors. Over the past decade, there have been numerous reports by various government, academic and private sector organizations regarding the intended and unintended consequences of the US export control regime. Included are findings related to what articles, services, and associated providers really need ITAR applied vs. what is otherwise now available abroad despite (or because of) ITAR. Some of these reports also note that the ITAR license processing system is under strain, unable to handle the complexity of technologies for which licenses are requested, and lacking either transparency or consistency in the license processing. Given the noted issues associated with ITAR application, the candidates’ views are sought regarding how to preserve the intent of ITAR without suffering the unintended adverse impacts.
Question 2c Major Response Points McCain Obama • Globalization is an opportunity for American workers • We need to be at the table when rules for access to international markets are set using multilateral, regional, and bilateral efforts to reduce barriers • Defense exports improve interoperability with friendly forces that are increasingly likely to operate in coalition warfare or peacekeeping missions • Ensure workers continue to benefit from exports to other countries American (since one in five domestic jobs depend on factory exports) • Pursue free trade agreements with our trading partners • Some sections of the ITAR have unduly hampered aerospace competitiveness • Outdated restrictions have cost billions of dollars to American satellite and space manufacturers • Direct a review of the ITAR to reevaluate restrictions on American companies • Direct revisions to the licensing process to ensure American suppliers are competitive in the international aerospace markets without jeopardizing American national security
Question 2d: Air Transportation Economic Distress 2. What will you do regarding the following issues facing the aerospace sector? d. Severe economic pressures that threaten the viability of our national air transportation system (i.e., steep fuel price increases, the high cost of replacing aging aircraft, and recovery from bankruptcies). Background The airlines are experiencing extreme financial difficulties within the current state of the economy (this after only partially recovering from the post-9/11 shock). As a result of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, today's airline industry is radically different from its pre-1978 form. Prior to deregulation, the industry resembled a public utility, with a government agency, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), determining the routes each airline flew and overseeing the prices they charged. Today, it is a market-driven industry, with customer demand determining the levels of service and price, much like the trucking, bus or rail transportation industries. With very rapidly escalating costs, airlines are raising prices any way they can, but face market-driven constraints on revenue gains. Meanwhile, the US airline industry has a severe need of fresh capital. The post 9/11 economic crisis and present credit crunch have put a tight limit on airlines’ ability to borrow money from the domestic market which is seriously limiting their ability to renew their aircraft fleet (thereby preventing associated fuel usage efficiency gains). Another consequent result is that airline bankruptcies are becoming frequent events, some now resulting in liquidations. The issue is the long-term viability of this essential part of our transportation infrastructure that is now so severely threatened.
Question 2d Major Response Points McCain Obama • Address the volatile energy economy and foreign oil dependency • End the moratorium of off shore drilling • Rising oil prices not only affect motorists, but squeeze the airlines (and the Air Force) • Advance aeronautical research at NASA to dramatically improve aircraft fuel efficiency
Question 2e: Air Traffic Management 2. What will you do regarding the following issues facing the aerospace sector? e. Meeting the needs of a projected increase in air travel demand (including unmanned vehicles) in the face of an aging, capacity and capability-limited air traffic control system Background In difficult economic times, all of the transportation industries suffer; however, the air transportation industry suffers additional financial pressures due to inefficiencies within the National Air Transportation System resulting from an antiquated and inefficient air traffic control (ATC) system. The inability of the ATC system to meet market demand is a prime cause (though not the only one) of considerable delays that cost the airlines significant loss of revenue. In the May 2008 Joint Economic Committee Report, air-traffic delays were reported to have raised airlines' operating costs by $19 billion, with the cost of wasted fuel being approximately $1.6 billion (using a 2007 fuel cost of $2.15 per gallon). The total cost of delays approached $41 billion in 2007 and continues to increase as fuel prices rise. This further weakens the air transportation system at an especially critical time when the demand for transporting passengers and cargo is expected to grow significantly in future. (Continues on next page)
Question 2e: Air Traffic Management (cntd.) Background (cntd.) In the near term (2-3 years), there are few signs of a sustained rebound in economic growth or a reduction in aviation fuel prices, making prospects for a robust rise in demand in the US appear slim. However, in the longer term (more than 5 years), air transportation demand is likely to rebound, as it did after the economic slowdown and war during 1991-1993 and the aftermath of 9/11. In less than 10 years, air travel in the US could exceed 1 billion annual passengers. Furthermore, there will be a complex and evolving mix of aircraft in the system consisting of legacy jet transports, emerging concepts in the business jet and very light jet categories, and Uninhabited Arial Vehicles (UAVs) serving needs of the Department of Homeland Security. The increased number and diversity of operations will exert pressure on the limited air transportation system resources and may complicate the ability of the system to scale up performance. Fees, taxes (via ad valorem taxes) and/or. pricing for allocating resources such as airport landing (slot vs. congestion pricing), could be used to limit air traffic volume. Alternatively (or additionally), the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) could transform the civil aviation infrastructure to increase capacity, but will require sustained investment to achieve this goal. A key issue is how to provide a sufficient funding mechanism for the necessary ATC infrastructure development and upgrade implementation. “ ‘Your Flight Has Been Delayed’-FLIGHT DELAYS COST PASSENGERS, AIRLINES, AND THE U.S. ECONOMY BILLIONS,” A REPORT BY THE JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE MAJORITY STAFF CHAIRMAN, SENATOR CHARLES E. SCHUMER VICE CHAIR, REP. CAROLYN B. MALONEY, MAY 2008
Question 2e Major Response Points McCain Obama • No Applicable Campaign Statement • Supports aeronautics research to address aviation safety, air traffic control, and noise reduction
Question 3: Sustaining Capabilities and Facilities 3. What are your priorities for sustaining and revitalizing major domestic aerospace research capabilities, testing facilities, and infrastructure across the government, in the commercial sector, and at universities? Background Aerospace research projects and product development programs rely heavily on test facilities and related infrastructure, including wind tunnels, engine test stands, space simulation facilities, flight test aircraft and support facilities, as well as computational assets. These facilities and their capabilities are needed in the aerospace industry for the foreseeable future. Over the past decade, there has been a significant reduction in the number of major aerodynamic test facilities in both the government and private sectors. The number of test facilities and the capabilities they represent are now at a critical level. (Continues on next page)
Question 3: Sustaining Capabilities and Facilities (cntd.) Background (cntd.) All of the major government and private sector test facilities are on the order of 30 or more years old, with many critical facilities over 50 years old. Test facilities of this type are expensive to operate and maintain, which is even more of an issue for older facilities. In addition to the testing infrastructure, the key skills required to operate these facilities has eroded. Many of the key engineering and technical experts for these facilities are eligible to retire within the next 10 years. The next generation of testing personnel is being brought on board, but it takes years to properly train test engineers and test facility operators. NASA is addressing some of these issues through the Shared Capabilities Asset Program (SCAP) and the Aeronautics Testing Program (ATP). SCAP provides maintenance and sustainment support for a variety of the aerospace testing facilities and support infrastructure, while ATP focuses on a specific subset of aerodynamic and aero-propulsion wind tunnels as well as engine test facilities. In addition, while U.S. infrastructure has been reduced with no addition of major facilities for over 20 years, several new test facilities, most notably wind tunnels, have been built in Europe and Asia with capabilities that exceed those of facilities in the U.S. This combination of circumstances has put the United States in the precarious position of dependency on foreign facilities to conduct advanced and affordable aeronautics research and product development. The dependency on foreign test facilities also raises concerns over data security and the loss of competitive advantage in aerospace product development.
Question 3 Major Response Points McCain Obama • Eliminate earmarks to improve federal government support for university research • Given the extensive DoD, NRO, and NOAA investments in space operations capabilities, have NASA work more closely with the other agencies to garner their expertise and apply their technologies – include sharing research and technical information with better coordination of acquisition programs
Question 4: Enhancing US Competitiveness 4. How will you protect and enhance U.S. competitiveness in civil and military aeronautics research and development as Asia and Europe increase their investments in aeronautics research? Background The United States is currently the world leader in aviation technology. Air transportation and military air power are vital to the U.S. economy and national security. According to the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the sale of commercial aircraft and parts made a positive net contribution of $55 billion towards the U.S. balance of trade in 2006, and aviation-related industries were our largest source of exported manufactured goods. However, our leadership role in this field is threatened. The United States has significantly diminished its investment in aeronautics research and development while our current and future competitors are executing ambitious plans to expand their capabilities and take over the leadership role. Aeronautics research and development plans in Europe are outlined in the report European Aeronautics: A Vision for 2020 – Meeting society’s needs and winning global leadership. The European Commission provides long-term stable funding for aeronautics and many other research areas through a series of strategic research programs. Europe is currently operating under Framework Programme 7 which provides funding for 2007-2013, and which sets specific research goals in a coordinated multi-national effort. In Asia, both India and China have burgeoning economies, large technically trained workforces, and low labor rates, which they hope to harness to form globally dominant aerospace enterprises. In contrast, NASA’s aeronautics budget has steadily decreased for the past fifteen years, and when adjusted for inflation the current aeronautics budget is less than one third of what it was in 1994. In addition, there has been a lack of long-term commitment to carry out a vision for the future, as leadership often changes direction and programs are cancelled midstream. There is a synergy between civil and military aeronautics and DoD makes substantial investments in aeronautics research and development. The 2002 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and the Defense Science Board recommended that research and development (6.1, 6.2 and 6.3) funding in science and technology make up 3% of the total DoD budget in order to maintain a healthy research foundation to support future defense needs. However, DoD has not been able to maintain that level of investment due to budgetary pressure from current military operations.
Question 4 Major Response Points McCain Obama • No Applicable Campaign Statement • Advanced space and aeronautics research can catalyze economic growth • Encourage public/private sector space technology partnerships to spur innovation
Question 5: US Space Access 5. What will you do to advance US space access (launch) capabilities and to limit the pending hiatus in US-based human space access? Background The Columbia Accident Investigation Board recommended that the Space Shuttle be either recertified or retired by 2010. When opting to pursue the Vision for Space Exploration, the Administration elected to retire the Shuttle. The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle combined with the Ares 1 launch vehicle is now planned to replace the Shuttle as the only means for US-supplied means human access to space. When operational, the Orion and the Ares 1 will transport crews to the International Space Station (ISS). Subsequent development of the much larger Ares 5 launch vehicle would extend the reach of Orion to the moon (along with the proposed development of the Antares vehicle to provide access to the lunar surface). The current go-as-you-pay budget for NASA means Orion and Ares 1 will not carry a human crew to Earth orbit until 2015, leaving five years during which the U.S. will have no human spaceflight capability. NASA plans to buy seats on the Russian Soyuz capsule for astronauts during this five-year gap. (Continues on next page)
Question 5: US Space Access (cntd.) Background (cntd.) There is concern that access to the Soyuz flights by US astronauts could be disrupted by mounting political tensions between Russia and the U.S., as well as technical problems with Soyuz. Consequently, the US faces the dual risks of not being able to get adequate access to the ISS for an extended period and waning space leadership during the same period in the face of any space achievements by Russia, China, and possibly other nations. Higher Orion and Ares 1 budgets in the near term could shorten the US human spaceflight capability gap. Another approach to gaining human access to Earth orbit is funding for privately developed, crew-rated spaceflight capabilities under an extension of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Successful development of means for human access to Earth orbit independent of Orion and Ares launch vehicles would free the US to focus the development of Orion and Ares capabilities on lunar and/or other deep space missions rather than ISS support. Finally, NASA has been authorized to begin to fund cash-prize competitions for successful non-government-funded development of capabilities for some small projects. If the small project prize competitions show significant promise, then authorization of NASA to offer large cash prizes for successful development of some major new capabilities could also be considered by the government.
Question 5 Major Response Points McCain Obama • Speed the availability of the Ares I and Orion • Avoid decisions (for at lest one year) that irretrievably lead to shutdown of the Shuttle program • Expedite development of the Shuttle’s successor systems • Support adding at least one additional Shuttle mission to fly a valuable (AMT payload) mission • Support private sector efforts to develop and demonstrate spaceflight capabilities • Enlist international ISS partners to provide cargo resupply and alternate human space access means
Question 6: Approach to Space Militarization 6. Given new threats to critical US space assets (e.g., the recent Chinese anti-satellite weapon test), what approach will you take regarding the militarization of space? Background For decades space assets in earth orbit have provided communication, navigation, and surveillance capabilities that have become essential to maintaining global security. The military and intelligence agencies of the US and other nations have become dependent on these assets. However, recent events, including a successful Chinese in-orbit demonstration of an anti-satellite weapon system, highlight the increasing vulnerability of earth-orbit space systems. There are many proposals for introduction of new space systems that would protect the existing space assets. Some of these proposed systems would use ground based or in-space weapons to attack vehicles that threaten other space assets. There are also proposals for in-space weapon systems that would provide one or more layers of missile defense by providing directed energy or kinetic kill intercept capability as an adjunct to ground and air-based systems. Space already serves essential military purposes without placement of weapons there. Historically, the US has opposed any placement of weapons into space, in part because of the potential threat they could pose to existing constellations of critical strategic space assets. New threats and technologies have introduced political pressure to change that historical stance at the possible risk of a space arms race. The policies of the next president in this area may be critical to defining the actual nature and role of military capabilities in space for decades to come.
Question 6 Major Response Points McCain Obama • Support development and deployment of theater and national missile defenses • No longer trust the balance of terror, instead deploying effective missile defenses to safeguard our people • Engage other nations in discussions of how best to stop the slow slide towards a new battlefield • Protect assets in space by pursuing new technologies and capabilities that allow avoidance of attacks or rapid recovering from them (including the operational responsive space program) • Develop an international approach to minimizing space debris • Work with other nations to develop “rules of the road” for space to ensure all nationals have a common understanding of acceptable behavior
Question 7: Aerospace Role in Addressing Climate Change 7. What is your perception of the role of our national aerospace facilities and agencies in monitoring and mitigating the effects of climate change? Background Current scientific understanding of climate change is founded upon a vast array of studies performed over the past few decades. In the U.S., fundamental and applied climate change research is conducted or funded by several federal agencies whose charters intersect with the aerospace sector. These include NASA, NSF, DOC, DOD, DOT, and DOE. Climate change studies conducted by federal agencies are organized under the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). Among these agencies, NASA, DOD, and DOT (through the FAA) appear to have the greatest intersection between their climate change research and operations portfolios and the aerospace sector. NASA’s Earth Observing System continues to feature several satellites and missions dedicated to quantitative measurements associated with climate change, but a review of satellites and missions currently in development or under consideration suggests that these activities may decrease during the next five years. DOD does not support a core fundamental research program in climate change, but conducts a variety of programs to measure and forecast the climate in order to assess its effects on DOD strategic plans and operations. Based on USGCRP reports, most of this work is focused on ocean studies by the Navy and polar climate studies by the Army. Intersection with the aerospace sector is mostly through the use of satellites as sensor platforms. (Continues on next page)
Question 7: Aerospace Role in Addressing Climate Change (cntd.) Background (cntd.) FAA focuses it climate change research program on the effects of engine emissions and on reducing fuel consumption through optimizing fleet operations. Also of particular interest to the FAA are jet aircraft contrails which have been implicated in exacerbating global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates the net warming effect of contrails from subsonic jet aircraft flying in the upper troposphere is 2.7 times the effect of the carbon dioxide they produce, and the effect of supersonic flight in the stratosphere is 5.4 times higher. However, the FAA states that substantial uncertainty still exists about the details and severity of this effect. National commitments spanning multiple administrations will be required to do the research necessary to complete our understanding of climate change factors, to measure changes in those factors, and to track the results of any efforts that are made to mitigate climate change. A parallel issue is the integrity of the scientific reporting process associated with climate change research. There was alleged censoring of NASA scientists who spoke publicly about climate change research results that may have been instigated by political appointees to public affairs offices. Directed content changes to professional publications regarding climate change research results were also alleged. These allegations generated substantial controversy in the media, and necessitated publicly announced corrective action by senior NASA management. Federally funded scientists and engineers can make critical contributions in the worldwide discussion of the current state of climate change, its potential consequences, and robust mitigation strategies, but their efforts will have little value if objective reporting of the results of their work is not assured.
Question 7 Major Response Points McCain Obama • No Applicable Campaign Statement • Lean forward to deploy a global climate change research and monitoring system that will work for decades to come • Support the Landsat Data Continuity Mission • Work to launch the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission
Question 8: Sustaining Bi-Partisan Support 8. How will you promote sustained, bi-partisan support for technological endeavors (including in aerospace) that are in the national interest but have long gestation times? Background Major national technological initiatives require research, development, and implementation time spans longer than the tenure of any single Federal Administration. Among the aerospace programs that fall into this category are space exploration initiatives, major aeronautical capability development and demonstration programs, as well as development and implementation of new air traffic management capabilities. For these programs to survive and thrive through multiple election cycles, they must clearly serve a national interest and must be founded on enduring bi-partisan goals. Programs that failed to meet these criteria have often been cancelled before fruition, but after significant expenditures. Even meeting these criteria, sustained advocacy by the Administration may be required to prevent short-term political crises or Federal budget resource competition from preempting the support necessary to achieve success in major on-going research and development initiatives. This question seeks perspective from the candidates regarding how they expect shape and manage the political environment to help ensure the sustained support that is needed by major, federally funded technological initiatives.
Question 8 Major Response Points McCain Obama • Reform and make permanent the R&D tax credit – will make it equal to 10% of wages spent on R&D • Keep capital gains low to avoid taxing innovation • Allow first-year expensing of new equipment and technology to provide an immediate boost to capital expenditures and to reward investments in cutting technologies • Support renewed human exploration beyond low earth orbit • Consider options to extend ISS operations beyond 2016 • Support a robust research and technology development program that addresses the long-term needs for future human and robotic missions • Support a funding goal that maintains at least 10% of the total exploration systems budget for research and development