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Representative Lamar Smith Cyber 1.4 Speech Focuses On Space Policy

By Marc Boucher
May 19, 2014
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Representative Lamar Smith Cyber 1.4 Speech Focuses On Space Policy
Rep. Lamar Smith at Cyber 1.4.

Speaking at Cyber 1.4, an event dubbed as where space and cyberspace intersect, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) opened up the first day of the National Space Symposium by using his time to talk more about space policy than cyber policy.

He opened up his speech by congratulating Space News on their commentary in today’s weekly edition which supports the Inspiration Mars flyby mission put forward by Dennis Tito. Ironically that mission was meant to be a private funded effort with no government funding. However the mission has morphed into one whereby the Inspiration Mars team is pushing for government support in the form of a yet to be completed Space Launch System launch using an Orion spacecraft for the mission. Ironically enough, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden recently said Inspiration Mars was not inspirational.

Rep. Smith, who chair’s the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, spoke about the recent NASA budget markup and how, in a rare show of bipartisan cooperation, they managed to agree on a NASA budget that both sides of the political spectrum could live with.

He then went on to chastise NASA and the administration for its budgetary requests including pushing an Asteroid Redirect Mission congress doesn’t support. This was followed by more testy words aimed at NASA for increasing Earth Science funding “by over 60% since 2007 while the planetary science budget has been significantly cut.” He said “There are 13 other agencies in the federal government that fund climate change research but only one funds space exploration. NASA needs to remember its priorities, the main one is of course space exploration.”

Rep. Smith finally addressed the gathered cyber professionals topic more than three quarters of the way through his speech by saying only two current bipartisan cybersecurity bills have reasonable hope of passing in the current congress. They are the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2013 (H.R.756) and the Advancing America’s Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2013 (H.R.967), both research and development (R&D) programs. And why might these bills be enacted he said? It’s because both bills are R&D bills and more much less contentious than other proposed cybersecurity bills

He ended his speech with a couple of quotes include T.S. Eliot’s “we shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

More coverage from the 30th National Space Symposium.

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