The passage of S. 1281, the NASA Authorization Act of 2005, is a milestone in our country’s continued efforts to open and develop new frontiers.
One year after the Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy, President Bush gave us a bold, new vision for the future of space exploration. This legislation provides the framework we need to implement the President’s vision.
The Moon is the strategic gateway to the rest of the solar system. It will ultimately be a critical point for many human endeavors, including weather forecasting, commercial transactions, and the International Space Station. It will support economic growth, cutting-edge research and technology, and innovative partnerships.
This legislation also provides NASA with important guidance for its other missions. It outlines a national aeronautics policy, which will be developed by the Administration. This policy will enable us to take into account emerging challenges in aeronautics research as we plan our investments going forward.
S. 1281 also calls for the implementation of a balanced space science program and highlights the need for better access to data, which can meet local and national challenges.
This is a bi-partisan bill, which provides a solid foundation for our current and future space activities. I am pleased we are sustaining our long-standing commitment to space exploration.