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Statement of Representative Griffith on Full Release of Augustine Report

Press Release From: Rep. Griffith
Posted: Thursday, October 22, 2009

image WASHINGTON - Congressman Parker Griffith released the following statement today in response to the full release of the Augustine Commission Report:

"The report released today by the Augustine Commission lacks the ambition and drive that first put our astronauts in space, beat the Russians to the moon, and is synonymous with the American space program. Time and again, the Constellation program has proven to be the best and safest option to continue America's legacy as the leader in manned spaceflight, but the full report seems to ignore many positive conclusion that demonstrates this.

"NASA has made America what it is today, and both our space program and our brave astronauts who risk their lives deserve more than the rigid deductions reached by this blue ribbon panel. We have spent 10 months studying this to only yield incomplete results at best. The arguments that should have been made and the questions that should have been asked were ignored. These findings are incompatible with our national goals to return to the moon, mars and beyond, and we in Congress will not stand for it. We can do better.

"This is not an argument of whether we should go to the Moon, to Mars, or pursue low-earth orbit. This is a matter of having the commitment and the drive it takes to do any or all of the three. The recommendations set forth in this report lethargically lump together important missions that would benefit the United States scientifically, technologically, militarily and economically. As North Alabama's Congressman, I will work with the entire state delegation and all of Congress to ensure that the men and women at Marshall Space Flight Center will have the tools they need to continue the gold standard work that the Tennessee Valley is known for.

"We did not get to where we are today by settling for the status quo. America did not become the greatest nation in the world by being happy with what we have. Our space program challenges young minds and causes us to dream big and achieve beyond our expectations. The Augustine Commission report concludes that we need to either fund NASA at its highest levels or walk away from it completely. All of us know which is the correct decision. We must give NASA our full support. America deserves nothing less."

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