Texas Senators Urge Funding for NASA

President Barack Obama plans to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida tomorrow — prompting Texas lawmakers to renew their call for the President to visit Houston's Johnson Space Center. The Senators from Texas say the President needs to explain and justify his vision for the country's space program. Laurie Johnson reports.

The message from Texas has been unified and consistent.

"Johnson Space Center has helped send astronauts into space for nearly four decades. We'd love for the President to visit the Johnson Space Center and see how we have helped our astronauts complete their missions and return home safely."

Senator John Cornyn repeated the refrain from the Texas Congressional delegation — calling on the President to restore funding to NASA's Constellation program.

It's a message Texas lawmakers hope will sink in as they await the outcome of Mr. Obama's visit to KSC. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison also spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate, saying it would be a mistake to authorize the President's proposed budget for NASA.

"America would have no long-term space flight capability and would need to rely completely on other nations for access to space. And if an accident or technical issue results in the Russian Soyuz being unavailable for any extended period of time, the Space Station would very likely have to be abandoned, deorbited within a matter of months. Taking that level of risk is entirely unacceptable for a nation with our history of space leadership."

President Obama's visit to Florida gives local lawmakers some hope he may make a similar visit to Johnson Space Center, where an estimated 7,000 jobs are at stake if the Constellation program is cut.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...