Senator Ted Cruz Credit: Office of Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz
Credit: Office of Ted Cruz

Earlier today U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, held a hearing with NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden in the Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee to examine the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget request for NASA.

“As we begin the process of putting a roadmap together for the future of NASA there is one vital question that this committee should examine,” Cruz said in opening remarks. “Should NASA focus primarily inwards or outwards beyond lower-Earth orbit?”

Earth science: compromising NASA?

Cruz said that since the end of the last administration, lawmakers have seen a disproportionate increase in the amount of federal funds that have been allocated to the Earth Science program at the expense of and compared to Exploration and Space Operations, Planetary Science, Heliophysics and Astrophysics “which I believe are all rooted in exploration and should be central to the core mission of NASA,” Cruz said.

Credit: Earth's atmosphere and Moon as seen from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Credit: Earth’s atmosphere and Moon as seen from the International Space Station.
Credit: NASA

Sen. Cruz said he remains concerned that the priority of Earth science is compromising NASA’s space exploration, and he concluded, “You have spent a great deal of time at this hearing defending the importance of Earth science, defending the importance of weather observation. I think everyone would agree with that….”

“It’s not that Earth sciences are not valuable,” Cruz advised Bolden, “but in the last six years, there has been a disproportionate increase. We’ve seen Earth sciences increase 41 percent, and we’ve seen exploration and space operation – what should be the core mission, what NASA exists to do – decrease 7.6 percent.”

What makes NASA special?

Credit: Senator Ted Cruz

Credit: Senator Ted Cruz

 

In the opinion of Cruz, his view is that is Earth science budgeting is disproportionate, “and it is not consistent with the reason so many talented young scientists have joined NASA, and so it’s my hope that this committee will work in a bipartisan manner to help refocus those priorities where they should be, to get back to the hard sciences, to get back to space, to focus on what makes NASA special.”

Cruz said that he is hopeful that the Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee “will move forward with a NASA re-authorization, and that in that process we will continue this discussion of getting back to the core priorities of NASA.”

Watch Sen. Cruz’s opening statement and the exchanges with NASA’s Bolden here:

http://youtu.be/LeONSQTpTDM

http://youtu.be/8A6q6eGM_Aw

http://youtu.be/ptg2bIcwaCk

Hearing resources

To view the hearing — Examining the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration – held on March 12, go to:

http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=4ccea8c1-af33-4439-ba02-075de42c9946&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=a06730c4-d875-4fde-97db-9e2be611840e

Here is the formal testimony of Charles F. Bolden, Jr., Administrator of NASA before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Go to:

http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=25169216-f43d-4b03-bc35-aaf587ba4d84

 

Leave a Reply