From: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
Posted: Monday, August 17, 2009
TUCSON - U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, chairwoman of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, today released the following statement on funding challenges facing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. According to a group led by Norm Augustine, the former CEO of Lockheed Martin, budget constraints make it virtually impossible to sustain manned missions to the Moon, Mars or further into space in coming decades.
The Augustine panel is telling us something we already knew -- that NASA's exploration program has been starved for funding and the good work being done by NASA's civil servants and contractors risks being undone by shortsighted bean-counting.
Congress has spoken with near unanimity over the past four years in support of a robust initiative to explore our solar system, including utilization of the International Space Station and a return to the Moon on our way to other destinations. To achieve this goal, however, we need a sustained national commitment, including adequate funding.
The Obama Administration and Congress have a singular opportunity to ensure that America remains a preeminent space-faring nation over the coming decades. The rest of the world is watching, and my hope is that we step up to the challenge.
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