Return to the Moon says Frank Wolf, a Republican Congressman from Virginia. Credit: Office of Frank Wolf

Return to the Moon says Frank Wolf, a Republican Congressman from Virginia.
Credit: Office of Frank Wolf

Frank Wolf, a Republican Congressman from Virginia, is not happy with U.S. President Obama’s space agenda, calling for an American return to the Moon.

Speaking April 28 at the Space Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., Wolf said, according to a press statement: “I still believe that our future in space lies in President Kennedy’s call to go to the Moon. This remains as compelling a destination today as it did in the 1960s.”

Wolf said he was “deeply concerned” about the state of NASA’s human spaceflight program and, ultimately, American leadership in space for the 21st century. 

“This concern is not because I believe NASA isn’t capable of great things, or because the American people don’t support space exploration,” Wolf said. “My concern is rooted in this administration’s mismanagement of NASA and our relationships with our international partners. Simply put: our exploration program is floundering.” 

Asteroid mission: a non-starter

The lawmaker focused some of his remarks on NASA’s drive to forge a plan to retrieve an asteroid.

“The asteroid mission is not worthy of a great nation, and Congress has made it pretty clear that this is a non-starter,” Wolf said.

Wolf reemphasized his backing for a U.S. return to the Moon, telling attendees at the meeting, according to his prepared remarks:

“This is the right thing to do both in terms of reasserting American leadership in space as well as contributing to our ability to go on to Mars,” Wolf said. “That is why I wrote President Obama in December, shortly after the Chinese rover landed on the Moon, urging him to convene a summit to revisit lunar missions, especially in light of steady advances by China. Unfortunately, the administration never responded,” he said.

Apollo 17’s Harrison “Jack” Schmitt was the last man to set foot on the lunar surface, taking part in the 6th human landing on the Moon in December 1972. Credit: NASA

Apollo 17’s Harrison “Jack” Schmitt was the last man to set foot on the lunar surface, taking part in the 6th human landing on the Moon in December 1972.
Credit: NASA


Squandering leadership

Wolf said that the Obama White House “doesn’t care about space, and it doesn’t seem to care that it is squandering America’s historical leadership in exploration as others catch up.” 

Decisions made in the next year or two, Wolf emphasized, “will likely determine whether the U.S. leads the first return to the Moon or if we will sit by and watch others fill the void left by our absence.”

 

 

 

 

Note: To read the full text of Wolf’s prepared remarks at the Space Policy Institute, go to:

http://wolf.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/wolf-remarks-at-space-policy-institute

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