The American Geophysical Union (AGU) sent the following letter to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) after he said NASA was spending too much on Earth science research at the expense of human spaceflight during a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness that he chaired.
13 March 2015
The Honorable Ted Cruz Chair, Senate Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Cruz:
On behalf of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and its more than 60,000 Earth and space scientists, I would like to elucidate our position regarding the value of Earth science at NASA.
Earth sciences are a fundamental part of science. They constitute hard sciences that help us understand the world we live in and provide a basis for knowledge and understanding of natural hazards, weather forecasting, air quality, and water availability, among other concerns.
It didn’t take long for critics’ worst fears to be born out. Last Thursday, Cruz decided to engage NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a debate over the space agency’s core mission. The consensus is that Cruz got the worst of the exchange, in the process demonstrating a lack of knowledge about what NASA’s been doing for the past 57 years.
WASHINGTON, DC (Ted Cruz PR) — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in anticipation of his recently-announced chairmanship of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Competitiveness, today released the following statement:
“In 1961, President John F. Kennedy laid down a marker for space exploration that inspired a generation of Americans to reach for the stars, recognizing that the race to the heavens was nothing less than a crucial front in the battle between freedom and tyranny.
“More than 50 years later, we have lost sight of that clarion call. Russia’s status as the current gatekeeper of the International Space Station could threaten our capability to explore and learn, stunting our capacity to reach new heights and share innovations with free people everywhere. The United States should work alongside our international partners, but not be dependent on them. We should once again lead the way for the world in space exploration.