Space traditionally plays very little role n the election campaigns of American presidents - to the point where they usually show little interest in space policy until they’re almost at the White house.
So it’s not a surprise that, when Aerospace America magazine sent around a list of ten questions on space policy to each of the presidential campaigns, only two bothered to respond. What has surprised me a little is who responded: Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump – Sanders has seemed much more focused on social policy, and Trump has simply said whatever would please his audience. Their replies are here.
Have a read: As always it’s sad to see that America’s space use and exploration are at the mercy of politics – look at what happened between the start of George Bush Junior's administration and now - but that’s the way it is.
Sanders gives far more in depth answers, showing a lot more interest in space exploration itself - the impression I get is that this is a topic he really cares about. Trump’s answers are much more hurried, and mainly are trying to divert attention to economics – but he voices support for commercial spaceflight. Trump is far and away the republican frontrunner, and space fans can take some hope from the fact that he responded, and showed some awareness of the issues.