Friends of Jan Schneider, P.O. Box 57, Sarasota, Florida 34230 | 941-955-6595
info@votejan.com

Vote Jan: FOR UNITED STATES LEADERSHIP IN SPACE

VoteJan: FOR UNITED STATES LEADERSHIP IN SPACE!

Jan Schneider will fight for increased United States federal government involvement in space. Space activities are vital to our national security, global communications, scientific research technological advancement and other interests.

For a dramatic example, astronauts now typically travel to and from the International Space Station onboard the SpaceX Dragon 2. Crew Dragon is currently the only American human- rated orbital transport spacecraft. Cosmonauts travel on the Russian Soyuz capsule. Soyuz was the primary form of transportation for astronauts as well as cosmonauts until 2020, after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration retired the Space Shuttle Program in 2011. There is danger in our country being so critically dependent on Elon Musk and his SpaceX or else on Russia for ISS astronaut transport.

More generally, historically as much as 90% of the NASA budget went to private contractors, mostly for design and manufacture of rockets, spacecraft and associated equipment. NASA, however, maintained close oversight and operational control. Now NASA often privatizes operations as well.

There are both pluses and minuses to this current modus operandi. On the one hand, it may be that private companies can more readily and less expensively provide low-earth orbit access, including ferrying brave souls and cargo to and from the ISS. On the other hand, commercial ventures by their nature have more limited objectives and perspectives.

Moreover, in the last few years the “billionaire space race” has escalated. The sub-orbital flights of Jeff Bezos aboard Blue Origin and Richard Branson on Virgin Galactic captured global attention. These billionaire excursions were extensively touted as hailing a new era. They were also, however, widely criticized as ego-gratifying junkets costing billions better devoted to improving conditions here on terra firma or to fostering space activities of common interest. There is undoubtedly truth to all of these assertions.

The point here is not to discourage private enterprise. It is rather that the U.S. federal government, and NASA in particular, need to reexamine, redefine and balance U.S. priorities and activities in space.

VoteJan: FOR UNITED STATES LEADERSHIP IN SPACE!

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Florida 16th Congressional District