US Senator, Ted Cruz, is the Chairman of the Senate Space and Science. So far Cruz isn’t impressed with what National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is doing, especially on issues of budget allocation and priorities.
Cruz is a well-known denier of climate. That is why for him NASA’s increasing focus on Earth studies raises more questions than answers. During a recent Senate subcommittee hearing on the $18.5 billion budget requested by President Obama, Cruz aired his dissatisfaction with NASA on the issue of Earth Sciences. Cruz went on to question the core mission of NASA. Further to that, Cruz stated that NASA has been increasing its budget for Earth studies at the expense of space missions. He pointed out that Earth Sciences budget had gone up by 41% at a time when space budget was down 7%.
By increasing Earth study allocation while reducing that of space mission, Cruz stated that NASA was not fairly allocating resources. In fact, he said that the agency was shifting away resources from core functions to what he believes are non-core functions.
Cruz’s observation degenerated into a heated argument because NASA chief, Charles Bolden, didn’t share his sentiments. According to Bolden, studying the Earth is just as important was space study. Additionally, he pointed out that the objective of NASA from the start has always been to investigate and explore the Earth and space environment. That, he said, enables them to make the world a better place.
Bolden also noted that space missions will be for nothing if say the Kennedy Space Center is engulfed by water.
Push for more space budget
NASA has also been under attack from critics who felt that its massive space projects were irrelevant to the life on Earth. Nevertheless, the outspoken Cruz holds that the way to go for NASA is more budget allocation for space missions. Cruz noted that NASA’s space mission is what inspires American kids.