Appropriator Says Space Agency's new missions will spur technology, job growth
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Ranking Member on the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, called NASA Administrator Charles Bolden with a message of congratulations and encouragement as the Space Shuttle Discovery ended its final mission in Florida this morning.
"I want to congratulate you on the successful landing and completion of Discovery's mission," Fattah told Bolden in a phone conversation just after Discovery touched down at the Kennedy Space Center. "The entire country is very, very proud of this entire mission and the great role model the astronauts have provided for our children."
Administrator Bolden thanked Congressman Fattah for the call. "I appreciate all the support that you have continued to give us," Bolden said.
With today's successful landing after a 13-day mission, NASA will retire Discovery with a record of 39 orbital flights over 27 years, carrying 246 crew members on 6,000 orbits. Those flights, to build and supply the international space station, have been regular history makers, carrying the first female pilot and the first African-American space walker. The remaining two shuttles, the Endeavour and the Atlantis, will conduct their final flights this spring.
Fattah, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies, pledged to Bolden that he would be working to resolve outstanding budget issues involving NASA.
"We want you to keep up the great work and keep moving forward on new missions and technology," Fattah said.
In a follow-up statement Fattah said:
"Today's end of mission is the beginning of NASA's 'tomorrow' – a range of new missions and innovation that will serve as a continuing investment in our economic and technological future.
"As a NASA appropriator I am pledging that we will continue to provide the space agency with the resources it needs to retain world leadership in space exploration and to ensure the broader benefits that all our citizens will realize from these efforts."
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah