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Time is money? Space is money, too, what with Russia’s space tourism flights and nations vying to open the first Starbucks on Mars or on the ever-popular Jupiter moon Callisto. But do it right, and go boldly, say some.

“The space economy is emerging as the next great frontier for economic expansion and U.S. leadership. If we really want to ‘win the future’ we cannot abandon our commitment to space exploration and human spaceflight. The fastest path to space is not through Moscow, but through the American entrepreneur,” says former Pennsylvania Republican congressman Robert S. Walker, a member of the fiscally conservative Competitive Space Task Force.

“Government can and should create a framework for American industry and individuals to pursue their ideals and dreams, and space should be no exception,” says Rand Simberg, chairman of the group.

SCIENCE CORNER

Outer space smells like a NASCAR race — “a bouquet of hot metal, diesel fumes and barbecue,” actually the persistent aromatic hydrocarbons left over from dying stars. So says Louis Allamandola, director of NASA’s Astrophysics and Astrochemistry Lab. Astronauts have also reported smelling “fried” steak after a space walk.

And speaking of entrepreneurs: The space agency already hired fragrance engineer Steven Pearce to re-create the signature space scent. He notes, “We did the smell of the moon. Astronauts compared it to spent gunpowder.”

POLL DU JOUR

• 51 percent of Americans say President Obama “will lose” the 2012 presidential election.

• 30 percent of Democrats, 36 percent of liberals, 77 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of conservatives and 68 percent of tea partiers agree.

• 41 percent overall say they “definitely” or probably” will not vote for President Obama in 2012.

• 14 percent of Democrats, 18 percent of liberals, 89 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of conservatives and 84 percent of tea partiers agree.

• 21 percent overall say Mike Huckabee is the Republican candidate they would most likely support in 2012, 19 percent favor Sarah Palin, 18 percent are for Mitt Romney.

• 24 percent of Republicans favor Mr. Huckabee, 18 percent Mr. Romney, 17 percent Mrs. Palin.

• 68 percent of Republicans say they will support the candidate who “can beat President Obama,” 29 percent the candidate who agrees with them on issues.

Source: A CNN/Opinion Research Poll of 1,012 adults conducted Jan. 21 to 23.

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