Hero Ted Cruz Will Save Us All From NASA Studying Our Climate

Click here to read this rather tongue-in-cheek analysis of Senator Cruz’s recent hearing on NASA and its priorities from Wonkette.com.

No one told Senator Cruz that the 1958 law which created NASA included as its goals:

(c) The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:
(1) The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;
….
(4) The establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from, the opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes.
….
(5) The preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere.

Ted Cruz advocates for human space exploration

Cruz wants to abolish the IRS but expand NASA (as long as it is spending money on manned space exploration but not climate research).

Click here to read the full February 24, 2015 story from USA Today.  Click here for a story from The Wall Street Journal on the same topic that has this startling sub-headline,”Texas lawmaker strikes bipartisan tone in sync with the panel’s ranking Democrat.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t a proponent of big government programs, but on Tuesday the Tea Party Republican championed NASA’s human space exploration program as a national priority that deserves congressional support.

Cruz and NASA

Developing a rocket and capsule to take astronauts to Mars by the 2030s — a mission projected to cost tens of billions — is “critical” to ensuring the nation’s leadership in space, Cruz said.

Buzz Aldrin to be star witness at Ted Cruz space hearings

Senator Cruz is going to be all over the news next week.

Click here to read the full February 20, 2015 story from Examiner.com quoted in part below:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, will hold his first hearings on “U.S. Human Exploration Goals and Commercial Space Competitiveness” next week, according to a Thursday story In Space Policy Online. Among the eclectic group of former astronauts, business leaders, and academics that will constitute the witness list will be Apollo moonwalker Buzz Aldrin. The hearings will also serve as an opportunity for Cruz to flesh out his views on the future of the American space program.

Cruz and NASACruz has previously stated his desire to return NASA to its core function of space exploration. He has also expressed support for both commercial space enterprises and the Orion/SLS space system under development at the space agency that will serve as the main components for exploration beyond low Earth orbit for the first few decades of the 21st Century.

Aldrin being included in the witness list is interesting on a number of levels. Besides providing the hearings considerable star power, Aldrin was once a supporter of President Obama’s space policy. The president used him as a photo op during his now infamous April 15, 2010 speech at the Kennedy Space Center. Obama even gave him a shout out when he stated his reasons for not returning to the moon. “Now, I understand that some believe that we should attempt a return to the surface of the Moon first, as previously planned. But I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before. Buzz has been there.” Aldrin, albeit a strong supporter of sending humans to Mars, has had difficulty living that down among lunar exploration advocates.

Ted Cruz is now the ‘Chairman of Space’

This link will take you to the full article in Spaceflight Insider.

With the change of representation in the United States Senate shifting to the Republicans, the leaders of the all important committees that determine the course of the nation – has shifted as well. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) having been the highest ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Competitiveness, has now taken the chairmanship position. Simply put, Senator Cruz is now in charge of the NASA budget – a fact that has drawn discussion due to the Senator’s past views and comments.

Walter Cunningham a former NASA Astronaut said, “I’m pleased to hear that Senator Cruz will be chairing the important Subcommittee on Science and Space. In our discussions he has always shown a strong interest in furthering the core goals of NASA and Johnson Space Center. He wants NASA to return to the scientific and exploration standards that enabled our country to win the space race.”

Other persons of note backing Senator Cruz’s chairmanship include Bob Harvey, President and CEO, Greater Houston Partnership and Jean Marie Kranz, President, K6 Strategies.

Space Launch System heavy-lift booster NASA image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

When asked by the Houston Chronicle if he supports space activities including private efforts, Senator Cruz responded, “SLS and Orion are critical to our medium- and long-term ability to explore space, whether it is the moon, Mars or beyond. Absolutely I support them. At the same time I am deeply concerned about our inability to reach low earth orbit right now….I am encouraged by the progress of both commercial cargo and commercial crew. But we need a continued focus on the stated exploration objectives with maximum efficiency and expedition.”

But the Senator’s posting is not without its critics. A petition at whitehouse.gov  asking for his removal as chairman has already topped 35,000. While a petition of this type will have no legal bearing on Senator Cruz’s position on the committee, it does show just how much the public is concerned about NASA’s budget. Ted Cruz responded, “…that he supports NASA’s contributions to science and discovery, and that they should not fear his appointment to lead the subcommittee that oversees the space agency.”

Cruz’s past comments have not done him any favors. As noted in The Washington Post, Cruz has denied that Climate Change is taking place. As NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA ) are at the forefront of monitoring the weather – those troubled by environmental issues fear that the Texas Senator might negatively impact efforts to study the impacts of Climate Change.

Senator Ted Cruz might be interested in balancing the budget and reducing government waste, his voting record suggests that he does take science seriously. It is also well known that Cruz is a fervent backer of NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS). While the Senator might not increase NASA’s budget, given the number of NASA constituents in his district, he is not likely to take funds away from the space agency either. In the end, NASA will know if Cruz’s appointment is a positive thing when the first budget changes to NASA under his watch wind their way through the political process.