Press Release

Rep. Hall Tours Kennedy Space Center, Reiterates Suport for Human Space Exploration

By SpaceRef Editor
June 15, 2009
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Rep. Hall Tours Kennedy Space Center, Reiterates Suport for Human Space Exploration

Washington, D.C. – Science and Technology Committee Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX) toured the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on Saturday as part of a Congressional Delegation to receive an update on NASA’s progress with the upcoming Constellation program and to witness the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to the International Space Station.

The scheduled launch on Saturday morning was scrubbed due to a hydrogen leak in a quick-disconnect seal next to the external tank during fueling with liquid hydrogen. The next launch attempt has been rescheduled for Wednesday. The Delegation’s visit to KSC included a tour of the Launch Control Centers, the Orbiter Processing Facility, and a look at the components of the Ares 1-X rocket that will be tested later this year. The Ares 1 rocket, when fully developed, will carry the new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle into outer space.

“We were disappointed not to see the launch – but safety is our first priority for our astronauts,” Hall said. “I am always impressed by the quality of work being done at the Kennedy Space Center. The dedicated professionals who have helped make our space program such a success are second to none.”

“Many of us who have long supported the space program are very concerned about the gap following retirement of the Shuttle when America will have to rely on purchasing seats on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to reach the International Space Station,” Hall said. “Unfortunately, all we can do at this point is to fight for adequate funding for the Exploration program so that the five-year gap before completion of our new Orion/Ares system does not grow wider.”

“I have always felt that the space program has done more to advance America’s technological leadership than any other Federal program,” Hall noted. “It has led to cutting-edge breakthroughs in electronics, communications, and even healthcare. America cannot afford to lose its leadership in space.”

“I am hopeful that the new Administration will fully fund and strongly support NASA’s human space exploration,” Hall added. “As Ranking Member of the Science and Technology Committee, NASA will remain one of my top priorities.”

Also in attendance were: Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX); Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX); Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX); Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL); Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA); Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL); Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ); Rep. Parker Griffith (D-AL); Rep. David Wu (D-OR) and Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA).

SpaceRef staff editor.