Rep. Posey Continues Fight for Shuttle Extension

Rep. Posey Continues Fight for Shuttle Extension

While his colleague Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) is aiming to keep the Constellation program on track, Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) is continuing his fight to keep the space shuttle operating beyond its current planned retirement this year. He wants to close the multiyear “gap” between the end of the shuttle and the availability of Constellation by filling it with occasional shuttle flights.

Posey’s press release today reminded readers that during the Presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama promised Floridians that he would close that gap. If media reports are even “half accurate” about the President’s plans for human space flight, said Posey, Obama’s plan would be a “devastating reversal of that commitment” that is “bizarre and misguided.” He added:

“My biggest fear is that this amounts to a slow death of our nation’s human space flight program; a retreat from America’s decades of leadership in space, ending the economic advantages that our space program has brought to the U.S., and ceding space to the Russians, Chinese and others. I will do all that I can to stop this ill-advised plan.”

Rep. Posey’s congressional district includes NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The area stands to lose thousands of jobs when the shuttle is terminated. He introduced legislation last year (H.R. 1962) to authorize shuttle flights through 2015 and wrote a letter to the President last week advocating an extension of the program.

NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) warned against extending the shuttle program unless the shuttle goes through a recertification process as recommended by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board after the Columbia tragedy in 2003. ASAP chair Joe Dyer is scheduled to testify to the House Science and Technology Committee next week.

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