Caught last night's debate on CNN. Arrhg. It was a circus, complete with steam calliope, three rings of newsies pontificating, and a truly clueless ringmaster.
The ringmaster was Woof Blitzen, a sawed off little guy who doesn't shave and has oatmeal for brains. He managed to get Mitt and Newt to trash each other on stage, it took Rick Santorum to point out that they both sounded like idiots while doing it.
Give me debates on Fox any day.
Then they got going on NASA. None of the candidates had a clue about the real issue. Since we scrapped the shuttle, we cannot get astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) except by paying the Russians. That makes it a Russian Space Station, since the Russians control all access. We have two commercial boosters (Space-X 's Falcon and Atlas V) that have plenty of boost to loft capsules full of astronauts and supplies up to the ISS . So does NASA use a well proven and paid for existing booster? No way. NASA started an expensive new booster program (Constellation) and managed to spend every penny they had before Congress shut the program down. Since then NASA has been completely wrapped up in turf wars. We should just flat build a capsule, pop it on top of a Falcon or an Atlas V, and launch. NASA seems incapable of doing this. So cut NASA out of the picture and let a contract to Space-X or Lockheed to get on with the job.
None of the candidates understood these issues.