Symposium Broadcasts, Analyzes Obama Speech

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Symposium Broadcasts, Analyzes Obama Speech One of the hottest topics at the 26th National Space Symposium was the controversy swirling around President Barack Obama's FY2011 budget proposal for NASA (see President Obama's remarks here; see related Space Watch articles of NASA Administrator Charles Bolden's remarks and on the NASA - The Budget and The Way Ahead panel here).

Attendees watched the President's comments at The Broadmoor Hotel on April 15, followed by an "Instant Analysis" moderated by Marty Hauser, former vice president for the Space Foundation's Washington operations and research and analysis group, and featuring Lon Levin, Space Foundation Board of Directors treasurer, and The Honorable Robert S. Walker, chairman of Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates.

When asked if the President changed hearts and minds with his address, Levin said that he felt that he did, although he wasn't sure if his remarks signalled change."Whenever the President speaks, he presents his case well," said Levin. "At the end, he (Obama) addressed why we spend money on space - explaining that it's part of what makes up the fabric of our nation."

Walker said that he felt the remarks "caused people to think more about their positions, even if their minds weren’t changed," adding, "The public wants to maintain (U.S.) leadership in space."

Walker also commented on the space industry workforce, saying, "If this policy can broaden the space community, we can preserve skills and expertise. We need a broad industry to maintain skills in a wide space community. We also need to broaden the industrial base. If one space sector is affected, the others are as well."

Photo by Tom Kimmell

This article is part of Space Watch: June 2010 (Volume: 9, Issue: 6).