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Paul Ryan Talks Space Policy at Ocala Campaign Stop

Oct 18, 2012 | WMFE - Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan made a campaign stop in Marion County Thursday, addressing about 1,500 supporters in Ocala's downtown square. Ryan touched on the topic of space as he answered questions from the crowd.

Ryan accused the Obama administration of leaving NASA without a plan after scrapping President George W. Bush’s Constellation program, which would have returned astronauts to the moon.

Ryan said Obama misunderstands the role NASA plays in national security. “If we want to send astronauts to the Space Station we got to pay the Russians to take them. I mean, think about that for a moment.”

He told the crowd what an administration led by Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney would do.

“Our plan is to put together a plan for NASA, so that they have a plan,” said Ryan. “Bring the stakeholders in – the private sector, the Pentagon, NASA – and, like the last administration, put together a plan for NASA, and that plan is part of our vital national security interests.” 

Under the Obama administration, NASA has been charged with building a heavy-lift vehicle with the eventual aim of taking astronauts into deeper space and potentially to Mars. Meanwhile, commercial space companies are developing rockets to launch astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station, and Russian Soyuz capsules are filling the gap.

After the Ocala stop, Ryan made an appearance in Fort Myers. He's speaking in Boca Raton Friday.


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