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Sen. Cruz: Focus NASA on Its Core Mission: Exploring Space, and More of It

Texas space leaders laud Cruz’s vision for NASA, echo call to fully ignite American imagination

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in anticipation of his recently-announced chairmanship of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Competitiveness, today released the following statement:
“In 1961, President John F. Kennedy laid down a marker for space exploration that inspired a generation of Americans to reach for the stars, recognizing that the race to the heavens was nothing less than a crucial front in the battle between freedom and tyranny.
“More than 50 years later, we have lost sight of that clarion call. Russia’s status as the current gatekeeper of the International Space Station could threaten our capability to explore and learn, stunting our capacity to reach new heights and share innovations with free people everywhere. The United States should work alongside our international partners, but not be dependent on them. We should once again lead the way for the world in space exploration.
“Texas has a major stake in space exploration. Our space program marks the frontier of future technologies for defense, communications, transportation and more, and our mindset should be focused on NASA’s primary mission: exploring space and developing the wealth of new technologies that stem from its exploration. And commercial space exploration presents important new opportunities for us all. We must refocus our investment on the hard sciences, on getting men and women into space, on exploring low-Earth orbit and beyond, and not on political distractions that are extraneous to NASA’s mandate. I am excited to raise these issues in our subcommittee and look forward to producing legislation that confirms our shared commitment to this vital mission.”
Various Texans and thought-leaders within the space industry have voiced their support for Sen. Cruz’s chairmanship, including the following:
Walter Cunningham, Former NASA Astronaut and Apollo 7 Pilot:
“I’m pleased to hear that Senator Cruz will be chairing the important Subcommittee on Science and Space. In our discussions he has always shown a strong interest in furthering the core goals of NASA and Johnson Space Center. He wants NASA to return to the scientific and exploration standards that enabled our country to win the space race."
Bob Mitchell, President, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership:
“Sen. Ted Cruz has shared his vision for NASA with me a number of times over the last 12 months. I am excited about his appointment to the chairmanship of the Senate subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness. With his leadership and endorsement of NASA’s core mission of human space exploration, I believe that NASA will be able to continue unimpeded on its trajectory to take humans beyond low Earth orbit.”
Jean Marie Kranz, President, K6 Strategies and former senior advisor for space to Congressman Pete Olson, TX-22:
“I think it’s terrific to have Sen. Ted Cruz leading as Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space. Over the past six years, our nation’s human space flight programs, including commercial space, have taken a hit under the Obama Administration.
“Particularly, this Administration has placed too much focus on issues unrelated to NASA’s core mission and has failed to set achievable goals in the near-term to further our nation’s space capabilities — instead relying on hypothetical, amorphous missions decades or more in the future.
“We need committee leadership that is innovative, fearless and most critically, independent from the Administration’s agenda. Not to mention one that will protect NASA’s Johnson Space Center from partisan politics. NASA must remain true to its bipartisan legacy and outline a realistic space strategy, that is attainable in years, not decades.”
Jeff Bingham, former staff director to the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space and Science and former chief of staff to Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah:
“As ranking Republican member of the subcommittee last Congress, Sen. Cruz has demonstrated his recognition of the importance of the U.S. Civil Space Program and the direction charted by Congress and embodied in the current law. I am confident he will continue that balanced approach as he assumes the chairmanship of the subcommittee.
“As a vocal and visible supporter of efforts to ensure effective use of limited taxpayer funds, I believe he will be an effective spokesman and leader in trimming wasteful and unnecessary government spending across government, while ensuring the wise investment of taxpayer funds in areas such as NASA, where the government has a leadership responsibility and can provide maximum benefit to the public and opportunities for private investment.”
Bob Harvey, President and CEO, Greater Houston Partnership:
“Houston is pleased to have a Texan lead the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Competitiveness. NASA and the Johnson Space Center are a vital part of the Houston regional economy as they continue to press ahead with their next generation exploration mission. Through his new chairmanship and work as ranking member of the committee for the last two years, Sen. Cruz understands the issues and is well positioned to support NASA by fighting for the funding the agency needs and working to maintain the United States’ legacy in space.”