A Texas Congressman Launches Mission to Reboot Space Program

Houston, we have a caucus.

By Rhonda FanningAugust 18, 2016 8:28 am

It’s been a long time since kids sat with parents on living room couches watching live pictures from Mission Control in Houston. Even though NASA no longer looms in the American imagination as much as it once did, with a Mars expedition in the works and the rise of Space X and Blue Origin among others, a powerful case can be made that a renaissance is just around the corner.

Houston-area U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, who’s chair of the House Space subcommittee, has launched a new mission on Capitol Hill.

Babin says he wants to establish a bipartisan caucus to “advocate and protect” the space program.

“The work, the funding, our workforce, our capabilities – all at the NASA Johnson Space Center, which Houston is home to, and also to the space industry across Texas,” he says.

In Babin’s district, he says 14,000 employees work at Johnson Space Center. “We’ve seen some ups and downs over the last few years of our space program,” he says. “NASA’s overall budget is less than one-half of one percent of our federal budget. The nation’s investments in space drive our technology, advancements and inventions we have there… It’s hard to match the bang for the buck that we get (out of it).”

Private industry has always been involved in the space program and Babin says it will continue to drive the technology to push the space program further. “When we get back to the Moon and when we get to Mars over the next couple decades,” he says, “private enterprise and industry will be a huge, huge part of that… America needs to continue to control the high ground – and that’s space.”

Post by Hannah McBride.