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Opening Statement by Rep. Ken Calvert at House Science Committee Hearing on The Future of NASA

Press Release From: Rep. Calvert
Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee
Hearing with NASA Administrator
Dr. Michael Griffin
Committee on Science
U. S. House of Representatives June 28, 2005

OPENING STATEMENT

Today, we welcome NASA's 11th Administrator, Dr. Michael Griffin, in his first official appearance as Administrator before the House Science Committee. Tomorrow, we will mark up the first NASA Authorization in a number of years in the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, which I chair. I am very hopeful that we will be able to get our bill through the House of Representatives before our August district work period.

Dr. Griffin is a breath of fresh air for NASA and we are really looking forward to working with him as we build a better and stronger NASA together. We are beginning a "Second Space Age." The first space age was born of the Cold War. This Second Space Age will feature space exploration while achieving synergy with the commercial, civil and national security space programs. Dr. Griffin is now in place to lead us in this Second Space Age as we work together to make a better NASA.

For NASA to develop an overall grand strategy, we must have a multi-year plan for NASA's aeronautics research and technology as well as a multi-year plan for NASA's science programs that parallel NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. Once we have well-defined missions and strategies, NASA will be able to move forward more effectively and efficiently in all its core areas.

I plan to visit all the NASA centers this Congress and so far, have visited the Kennedy Space Center and Dryden Flight Research Center. I plan to visit the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on July 3, to observe the climax of the Deep Impact program as it collides with a comet and we have our first look inside a comet. At each of these centers, I have been impressed with the enthusiasm, dedication and technical skills of the workforce. I spoke with a number of the workers who are preparing the Space Shuttle for the Return to Flight, processing components of the International Space Station, conducting life-science research, and testing experimental vehicles. This NASA community is comprised of a talented workforce with skills that America cannot afford to lose.

I believe that Mike Griffin is the right person to lead this talented workforce in a direction to benefit our Nation and to enhance our competitiveness globally. As Administrator Griffin said in a speech last week, "my feet are firmly grounded in reality, but I am also grounded in the idea that we need to change some of the definition of reality."

I look forward to working with Administrator Griffin as we change the definition of reality and move into this Second Space Age.

I welcome Dr. Griffin to testify today.

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