As a former worker at KSC and former Chairman of Space Florida’s predecessor organization, I believe that America must absolutely remain at the forefront of space research, capabilities and exploration.
Not only will our investments in space exploration keep much-needed, high paying jobs here in Brevard County and throughout the Space Coast, but it contributes to American space innovation and leadership as well as our national security. Free nations around the world are looking to the U.S. to lead the world in space and if we fail to do so others – China and Russia – will fill that void and that is not in in our economic or national security interest.
Space is the ultimate military high ground that we cannot cede to Russia, China or anyone else. To do so puts our national security at risk. The Chinese have already taken laser target practice at satellites, and Congressional testimony by top military experts highlights the growing vulnerabilities of our military space assets posed by China.
I opposed efforts to make us reliant on the Russians for U.S. astronaut access to the International Space Station (ISS) and I am pleased to see its end. Our commercial crew program has NASA contracting with American companies to launch American astronauts from American soil to carry out the ISS mission. We approved a NASA Authorization bill in 2017 that authorized key NASA human space flight programs that are so important to the work here along the Space Coast.
I was pleased to play an active role in passing the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015, which included key provisions for building a robust commercial space program here on the Space Coast. I authored key provisions of that law which have given certainty to commercial space companies and has led to the investment of billions of dollars by a host of space companies: SpaceX, Blue Origin, United Launch Alliance, Northrop Grumman (OrbitalATK), Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and a host of new space companies like Firefly).
My RACE for Space Act (HR 4401) and Commercial Space Support Vehicle ACT were signed into law eliminating burdensome red tape making it easier for commercial space companies to launch at the Cape and capture the budding suborbital and orbital commercial marketplace.