Mr. PALAZZO. Madam Speaker, this morning, NASA announced the design of a new space launch system which will be the basis for future exploration beyond low Earth orbit. It is a critical step, but one among many we need to take. Although I am pleased this decision was made, it is long overdue since it was mandated by the NASA authorization bill passed in the last Congress. This announcement combines existing technologies while enabling new ones, all the while attempting to maintain the most skilled and dedicated workforce in existence in human space flight. NASA's plan still lacks the destination focus I would like to see, and we must be diligent in keeping costs manageable, especially in these difficult economic times. But the investment in our Nation's space program enables men and women like those at the Stennis Space Center to do what they do best--test rocket engines for space flight.
America is the leader in human space flight. Today's decision helps continue that leadership role.