Status Report

Lampson Statement on Successful Chinese Human Space Flight

By SpaceRef Editor
October 15, 2003
Filed under , ,

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, a member of the House Space
Subcommittee and the representative of Johnson Space Center, issued
the following statement today on the successful Chinese space flight:

“I would like to welcome China into the human space flight club.  As
only the third nation to successfully launch a manned
spacecraft, China truly has achieved an amazing feat with the launch of
Shenzhou 5.  I was pleased to see Yang Liwei return safely yesterday
and look forward to future peaceful Chinese space missions.

“It has been reported that China has plans for future missions,
including the development of a space station and human exploration of
the moon.  While I do not believe that China’s future human space
flight plans should be interpreted as the beginnings of a 1960’s era 
“space race,” yesterday’s successful mission means that we can’t
continue business as usual at NASA.

“History has shown that great nations explore.  The United States must
not turn its back on human space exploration at this critical time. 
We must return the Space Shuttle to flight and complete construction
of the International Space Station.  At the same time, this
Administration and this Congress must provide the American people with
a vision and a concrete set of goals for the nation’s future human
space flight program.  It is clear tha tChina has goals set by its
leadership, and we need the same.

“I am attempting to push NASA in this direction with my Space
Exploration Act (H.R. 3057).  This bill requires NASA to design and
implement a long range vision for our future in space. 

“The phased series of goals over the next 20 years that I propose in
this legislation includes human visits to the Earth-Sun libration
points and Earth-orbit crossing asteroids, deployment of a
human-tended research and habitation facility on the Moon, and human
expeditions to the surface and moons of Mars.

“Once America gets started on achieving the first of the human
spaceflight goals listed in the bill, we have gotten over the highest
hurdle to success in the entire initiative.  We will once again be
moving outward beyond low Earth orbit.  And in the process, we will
revitalize our space program, energize our industrial and academic
sectors, create new opportunities for international cooperation, and
inspire our young people.

SpaceRef staff editor.