Hutchison Defends NASA on Capitol Hill

A new committee report says the space program needs more funding in order to send astronauts into space. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison says it is essential for national security. Tanya Snyder reports.

The Human Space Flight Committee, appointed by President Obama, announced last week that NASA needs another three billion dollars a year to reach its goals — like attempting a landing on Mars. Norman Augustine chairs the committee.

“Absent that additional funding I’m afraid our nation is in a position where human spaceflight substantially goes on hold.”

Space-exploration advocates in Congress hope the President will pony up the money so the human space flight program can flourish. Otherwise, Hutchison says the country will lose the investment it’s already made. 

“We are just on the cusp now of realizing the capabilities of this enormous investment that we have been making in the international space station, we’re just beginning to realize it and yet now we’re talking about shutting down the shuttles and not being able to fully equip and utilize the space station.” 

The Committee report did give a new lease on life to the Johnson Space Center in Houston — and the eighteen thousand people who work there. The committee recommended keeping the center open to continue its work with the international space station.

From Capitol News Connection, Tanya Snyder, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.