In a meeting in his office today, Congressman Parker Griffith spoke with Citizens for Space Exploration and a number of North Alabama leaders about the future of manned space flight and NASA. North Alabama leaders in the meeting included Huntsville Mayor, Tommy Battle; Vice-President of the Huntsville/Madison Chamber of Commerce, Mike Ward; Author, Ed Buckbee; and Marshall Space Flight Center Intern, Kelsey McDonald.
"I was glad for the opportunity to meet with members of the Citizens for Space Exploration as we have a common understanding of the importance of manned space flight. In the meeting, I highlighted the value of having a defined vision and mission for NASA.
"I explained in the meeting that I was hopeful that the President would define a vision for manned space flight when he delivered a speech at Kennedy Space Center in Florida last month. However, in that speech the President made the claim that, "we're no longer racing against an adversary,' in our space program.' I have rejected the President's claim. It ignored the fact that we are in an adversarial relationship with Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, and we are competing for the military high ground. It gave me further evidence how out-of-touch the administration is with manned spaceflight.
"During the meeting, I also described that it is no coincidence we have the most advanced manned space flight program on Earth. We have also successfully attracted and inspired the world's greatest minds in North Alabama. We agreed that if we interrupt our space program now, we are jeopardizing the future of workers who will forever move out away from the space industry.
"North Alabama has played an integral part in advancing U.S. space exploration, therefore, I was glad to meet with Citizens for Space Exploration and north Alabama leaders to express my grave concern that the Administration is making a mistake when trying to cut funding for Constellation. I assured them that I, and my NASA Caucus colleagues, will work tirelessly to continue funding the Constellation program," said Griffith.
The Citizens for Space Exploration's presented Griffith with a framed picture in appreciation of his strong support of the nation's manned spaceflight program.