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Sen. Hutchison Lauds NASA on Successful Return to Flight

Press Release From: Sen. Hutchison
Posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2005

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Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space, congratulated NASA on Shuttle Discovery's successful return to flight launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida this morning.      

"Our brave NASA team has returned the United States to flight and led us into a new era of space exploration and research," Sen. Hutchison said.  "This NASA crew worked with a steadfast commitment to new safety thresholds and risk reduction. Administrator Griffin has provided essential leadership and guidance that brought us to this day.  I look forward to the astronauts' safe return and the research this mission will yield."  

On June 23, Sen. Hutchison passed her NASA reauthorization bill through the full Senate Commerce Committee. The bill authorizes NASA for Fiscal Years 2006 through 2010, provides a legislative framework for a national space exploration policy, requires completion of the International Space Station (ISS) and prohibits a gap in U.S. human space flight capability. The legislation also designates the U.S. segment of the ISS as a national laboratory facility and requires the administrator to outline operations and functions of ISS national laboratory activities.  

"The policies we develop will determine our nation's role in future space exploration and its contribution to research.  The possibility of a gap in space flight must be eliminated if the U.S. wants to remain a leader in space exploration and maintain a national security advantage," Sen. Hutchison continued.

"Designation of the ISS as a national laboratory will expand the variety of areas to which space research can be applied.  Our future in space has unlimited potential that can be harnessed through appropriate guidance, oversight and accountability."

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