In the midst of a NASA budget hearing on Thursday, March 12, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who is in charge of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the space organization, began speaking of the potential for more space flight in the years ahead.
Early in his speech, Cruz defines the overall mission of NASA to be one that explores outer space, not focusing on Earth. More specifically, Cruz points to the organization’s study of the controversial subject of climate change as not being in their purview.
Saying, “I am concerned that NASA, in the current environment, has lost its focus on that core mission,” Cruz is specifically referencing the budget that President Obama submitted. In it, Obama asked that the $18.5 billion in additional funds request include a 41 percent increase in Earth Science research and a 7.6 percent reduction in space exploration.
The NASA administrator, Charles Bolden, responded by saying, “Our core mission from the very beginning has been to investigate, explore space and the Earth environment, and to help make this place better. We can’t go anywhere if the Kennedy Space Center goes underwater and we don’t know why.”
According to NASA, 2014 was the warmest year on record, which appears to indicate the growing danger of climate change. The fear by proponents of fighting climate change is that doing nothing will cause sea levels to rise and cause massive flooding in the decades ahead.
Cruz is considered a potential candidate for the 2016 Presidential election.