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Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GENE GREEN of Texas. Madam Chair, I want to thank my colleague for yielding me time, and I want to thank Chairman Wolf for his tireless dedication to maintaining our Nation's manned space flight capabilities. For many years, we worked together.

I represent part of Houston and Pasadena, Texas, and we're proud of the Johnson Space Center. The work that is accomplished there advances our Nation in space through mission control, training, and testing. One such testing facility is arcjet. This facility ensures that the material on the outside of the vehicles reentering our atmosphere can withstand the heat that is created. It's a critical capability if we ever want to send humans in space again.

The Johnson Space Center arcjet facility is being closed by NASA. I believe the decision is premature. We've received documentation indicating the experts within NASA, from their own Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, believe that the closure would negatively impact the safety and diminish NASA's in-house protection capabilities.

Confronted with tough questions on this, NASA has decided to move ahead with their plans. They're unwilling to delay it, and they are even unwilling to further study it.

Chairman Wolf, I'm asking for your help as we're confronted with a NASA that is pushing ahead despite our inquiries and despite their own internal disagreements. This is not just a local issue, and I'm afraid that the closure of arcjet at Johnson Space Center would forever undermine our Nation's space program, and I appreciate any assistance you could provide us.

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