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Hillary Clinton: "I Really, Really Do Support the Space Program"

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 17-Jul-2015
Updated: 17-Jul-2015 02:34 AM

Hillary Clinton became the second of the 2016 presidential candidates to offer strong support for the space program.  Speaking at a town hall meeting in Dover, NH, today she explained not only why she supports investing in space exploration, including the need to track asteroids, but repeated the story of her desire to become an astronaut when she was a teenager.

Clinton responded to a question about her views on the space program -- which began with a shout out from the questioner for the New Horizons mission to Pluto -- by saying "I really, really do support the space program."

She recounted the story.of how she wrote to NASA when she was about 14 asking what she needed to do to become an astronaut.  NASA replied that they did not accept applications from.girls.  After lauding the fact that that changed as demonstrated by Sally Ride and other woman astronauts, Clinton said she clearly would not have qualified anyway and has not lost any sleep over it.

She continued to talk for several minutes about the need for the government to invest in the space program along with other science and technology activities for many reasons, including economic benefits and discovery.   She also mentioned security and in that vein noted in particular the need to track asteroids. 

"I think [the space program] is a good investment, so on my list of things that I want our country to invest in, in terms of research and innovation and .... basic science, exploring space, exploring our oceans, exploring our genome.  We're at the brink of all kinds of new information.  Let's not back off now!"

The questioner had asked if the time has come for space activities to be done by corporations instead of the government.  Clinton said she has nothing against partnering with corporations, but "they are more in the applied science arena,  not in the discovery and research arena that I think only the government can support."

The town hall meeting was broadcast by C-SPAN.

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush expressed his support for the space program last week.


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