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Obama does not want to lose any lead in space exploration to the Russians.

"We cannot cede our leadership in space. That's why I will help close the gap and ensure that our space program doesn't suffer when the Shuttle goes out of service by working with Senator Bill Nelson to add at least one additional Space Shuttle flight beyond 2010; by supporting continued funding for NASA; by speeding the development of the Shuttle's successor; and by making sure that all those who work in the space industry in Florida do not lose their jobs when the Shuttle is retired 45 because we cannot afford to lose their expertise."

However, we should not lose sight of the fact that there is a political race going on as pointed out by Discover magazine:

"However, I have to note that some time ago, Obama said he wanted to take money from NASA and put it into education. When I heard that I laughed ruefully: NASA already sets aside money for education (though less now than a few years ago when I was working with NASA's science education). Plus, NASA's budget is very small compared to, say, that of the Department of Education; NASA gets about 1/3 the money the DoE gets. So taking from NASA to give to DoE seems silly."

McCain is saying similar things.

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