Reply from Marco Rubio
Reply from Marco Rubio
Dear Mr. Citizen,
Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding America’s space program.
For over 50 years the United States has had a longstanding commitment to manned space exploration, and NASA has played a major role in developing new technologies, promoting scientific discovery, and researching the unknowns of space. Throughout its history, our nation’s space program has exhibited many of the qualities that make America exceptional – courage, ingenuity, risk taking and an ability to accomplish what once seemed unthinkable. Space exploration speaks volumes about America, who we are as a people and as a nation.
But the agency is in a transition period, and like you, I am greatly concerned about the future of our space program and the impact the shuttle retirement has had on Florida. I believe that NASA is at its best when it has a clearly defined mission that allows the agency to advance American ingenuity and the boundaries of human discovery. It is imperative that we continue to have a robust space exploration program that will help promote America’s economic, scientific, and security interests. Without one, American superiority in space will be jeopardized, as will the benefits that this superiority provides to American businesses and communities, especially in Florida.
While I am concerned about the future of American space exploration, I am encouraged by the advancements in the commercial space industry and the commitment Florida has made to commercial space entities. NASA must continue to utilize commercial space partners for missions in low Earth orbit while it focuses on deep space exploration. Doing so will help secure American leadership in space and ensure Kennedy Space Center is a multi-user spaceport in the future.
This is why I believe that NASA must find common sense savings to help prioritize and fund space operations. The Agency currently has facilities and property which are outdated and costing the Agency billions of dollars to keep and maintain. For these reasons I introduced an amendment to the 2013 Budget Resolution which unanimously passed the Senate. My amendment encourages the Agency to reduce its infrastructure and make underutilized property available for lease to a government or private tenant. I am encouraged that this amendment passed in order to save taxpayer dollars, direct NASA on its missions and deep space activities, and promote the commercial space industry.
As a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which has oversight of NASA, I will continue to promote human spaceflight and work to ensure that NASA remains a meaningful institution in Florida, the United States, and around the world.
United States Senator