“American leadership in space exploration has been one of the key drivers in our economic expansion in the past century, including the development of many of our high-tech and emerging industries. Now is not the time to step back and let others take the lead in the new international space race, and we must preserve and expand the missions to the heavens, many of which are planned and executed right in our backyard at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.”
– Rep. Adam Schiff
Supporting NASA’s Budget and Core Mission
Since the earliest days of the space age, NASA has played a major role in the scientific and technological pre-eminence of the United States, and Rep. Schiff has fought to prevent a drift away from investment in maintaining our leadership of the exploration of the cosmos. Schiff believes that scientific innovation is the cornerstone of the 21st Century economy, and technological breakthroughs depend upon a steady flow of promising new discoveries and the contributions of skilled researchers assisted by federal science investments in universities and national laboratories.
As the representative for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Schiff supports enhanced funding to NASA. Schiff fought to include robust funding for NASA in the 2019 appropriations bill that was signed into law in February 2019. Specifically, it provided NASA with $21.5 billion, which is $683 million higher than the FY 2018 enacted level.
Prioritizing Planetary Science – The Crown Jewel of NASA
Rep. Schiff is especially determined to maintain America’s advantage in the area of robotic space exploration. He has successfully fought to restore a series of extremely damaging funding cuts to planetary science, much of which takes place at JPL, right here in our community and is widely known as the “crown jewel” of America’s space program. Schiff believes that science and technology funding is vital to ensuring that America continues to be at the forefront of space exploration. The Mars Exploration program is close to unlocking the secrets of Mars’ distant past and NASA is planning to send a new Curiosity-class rover to the Red Planet in 2020 as the first step towards gathering and returning a sample to Earth. Similarly, scientists are excited about a possible new mission to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, which is thought by many scientists to possibly harbor life and Schiff has been pushing hard to make this mission a reality.
Supporting A Future for Human Space Flight
Rep. Schiff also supports a robust human spaceflight program, including the use of commercially-developed systems to resupply the space station and reach low-Earth orbit. While NASA’s human space flight program is currently in a transitional state, Schiff is supportive of the efforts to develop the necessary vehicles and technologies for low-earth orbit and solar system exploration. The early but encouraging successes of commercial resupply missions to the ISS suggests America will soon regain the ability to relaunch astronauts into orbit. With the first unmanned tests of the Orion crew vehicle and the ongoing development of the rockets to get us into orbit and beyond, Schiff is confident that America’s human flight program will achieve new heights in the near-future with continued support from Congress.