Senator Hutchison Remarks at NASA Reception Honoring International Space Station Crew

February 15, 2012

Thank you so much Administrator Bolden, we are very pleased to be here, always to see these brave and incredible astronauts. The things that they are doing for our country, they really explore. Scientists is what they are.

Katie Coleman, Ron Garron, Mike Fossum, who wears his Aggie sweatshirt up in space, to make a point, a fine tune point. I was just so glad to get a chance to see all of them.

I’m thrilled that last great flight was able to get us one more time up to Space Station. I have such a big affinity for the Space Station because anywhere we are doing the projects now, everything including human space exploration is being done to, from, and in the Space Station and that is where we are learning so much. Treatment for diseases such as salmonella poisoning, and MRSA, has increased our understanding.

I was just telling them about bone loss and how you can treat osteoporosis here on earth because of the things we are learning on the Space Station. Because what happens up there is, the bone loss is fast enough that you can actually measure it and then measure how you can get is back. So these are things that are so very important.

I wanted to share just one thing and then I know Chairman Ralph Hall wants to speak. The second to last mission took up the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.  Dr. Samuel Ting, the Nobel Laureate from MIT who helped put it together and fought so hard along with Ralph and myself and many others to get it up there because he wanted to see what dark matter was and how we might be able to harness it. He made a speech at a meeting of the members of the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine, last month, in Houston, Texas and I just wanted to show one of the pages of his speech. This is what the Space Station is all about. He listed what the original purpose was for some of the greatest scientific physics experiments in history that have been made for, and he lists here the original purpose. Then he lists what actually was gotten. And even though its hieroglyphics to most of us, it’s a big improvement over what we even thought we were going to get.  He believes, and I know that he’s right in my heart that the Spectrometer, which has now gotten more hits than any cosmic ray instrument in the 55 year history of going into space, it’s gotten over 12 billion hits of positive rays and what he wants is to find out what the antimatter is because we’ve never been able to find out what is produced by the dark matter. But he believes possibilities are endless if we can find out how to harness that dark matter.

We in America must continue to push the envelope to find out what’s out there. We’ve got to be the first, we’ve got to harness it, we’ve got to make...and increase our economic output with what we learn. And these 3 people with the prettiest outfits on in the whole room, these are the ones who are making that happen. We in this room, Charlie, Ralph, all of you, are the ones giving them the tools they need to do the job we are asking them to do. So thank you all, thank all of you for your interest in and support of NASA and our space exploration because this is the future of America. Thank you.