On the eve of Florida's Republican presidential primary, a Tea Party-affiliated space organization has endorsed Newt Gingrich.
"Mr. Gingrich is the only candidate who consistently articulates a bright vision for future American space exploration and settlement," says a statement from Tea Party in Space. "Mr. Gingrich's unique approach of utilizing the government and private sector is exactly what NASA needs."
Read the full statement here.
During a visit to Cocoa last Wednesday, Gingrich outlined "grandiose" plans to establish an American moon base by 2020, support commercial space activity, advance propulsion systems for human missions to Mars and dedicate a tenth of NASA's budget to prizes intended to tackle tough technological problems.
The group believes Mitt Romney's space vision is lacking. Romney visited the Space Coast last Friday and won the endorsement of some high-profile space officials including former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin; Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University; and former astronauts Gene Cernan and Bob Crippin.
Candidates Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have said little about space policy during the campaign. But it is Paul who leads a Jan. 24 poll on Tea Party in Space's Web site titled "Whose space policy do you support?", with more than 3,100 votes.