Mayor Annise Parker Urges Washington to Save the Shuttle Program

Federal Officials say that the privatization of space flight will not result in long term economic harm, but Houston Mayor Annise Parker disagrees. Eric Niiler reports from Washington.

Federal Aviation Administration Chief George Nield said at a Senate Hearing the private sector will fill the job gap left by the shuttle program. This comes on the heels of fierce congressional opposition to the plan, especially from space heavy states like Florida and Texas.

Nield: “There are enough very capable and well-funded groups currently working on this effort that I am confident that in the next few years we will see multiple companies conducting several sub orbital launches per week. That will mean hundreds of launches per year.”

Mayor Annise Parker and members of the Texas delegation are not confident that the jobs will come back quickly, if at all.

Parker: “The idea that we would end the shuttle program and leave a vacuum is very disturbing.”

NASA’s budget is waiting congressional approval. It’s not clear whether Texas Lawmakers can rally enough support to save the shuttle program.

From Capitol News Connection, Eric Niiler, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.