GOP wants private sector to rescue space program

AP News

1/24/2012 9:44:31 AM - AP News

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich want to revive Florida's space coast.

But the Republican presidential contenders, eager to address a key local concern in Monday's debate, say they don't want the federal government to spend too much in the effort.

Romney says the space exploration should be a priority. He's calling on NASA to partner with the military and private business interests and educational institutions to help pay for it.

Gingrich wants to offer the private sector special prizes. He says that such incentives, as opposed to a government spending, would help Americans go back to the moon, explore Mars, and develop extraterrestrial space exploration.

Gingrich says the prizes could create a romantic and exciting future for the space program.