Investing in research and development is critical to ensure the future competitiveness of our country. Every day, Americans benefit from public investment in scientific research. This research has allowed disabled veterans to use artificial limbs to adjust back to everyday life, protected our firefighters with advances in turnout gear, and saved households money on their energy bills through the use of solar panels and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). These innovations, along with many more, have spurred economic growth, improved Americans’ daily lives and shown that investments in research have continued to pay off.
While New Jersey may be far away from Cape Canaveral, it directly benefits from funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA's aeronautics research helps maintain U.S. leadership in aviation, which is a key economic driver for the nation, facilitating $1.5 trillion in economic activity each year, transportation of 17.7 billion tons of freight, and 11.5 million jobs. This research includes developing new air traffic management systems and quieter aircraft designs, which will benefit communities in our district that deal with aircraft noise daily. This research will also save consumers hard earned dollars by allowing for more efficient flights; translating to less fuel consumption and less costly travel.
NASA’s continuing missions on the International Space Station and its future journey to Mars provide great opportunity for further scientific discovery and technological advances. NASA’s missions to the International Space Station provide researchers with valuable information to develop the next breakthrough in technology and medicine. NASA’s space station research also prepares the agency for its eventual journey to Mars and assists with its development of the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft. The preparation for this noble endeavor is a launching pad for further technological breakthroughs as scientists, engineers, and researchers develop complex mechanisms to safely transport humans to deep space. The extensive work required for this mission supports manufacturing jobs across the country, including in New Jersey, and will recruit students across the country to the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) field.
NASA’s leadership in STEM education through the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program (Space Grant) enables students across the country to engage in outreach activities and research projects that prepare them for STEM careers. This program is critical for preparing the next generation of scientists and researchers to work on NASA’s long term goals and discover future innovations. New Jersey’s Space Grant Consortium, led by Rutgers University, involves a total of 17 institutions which include the Liberty Science Center, New Jersey City University, and Stevens Institute of Technology.
Due to the significance of NASA’s work, I requested the House Appropriations Committee fund NASA at $19.3 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2017, which is above the President’s request, so that it is able to continue to lead in the disciplines of space and Earth science, development of innovative technologies, human spaceflight operations and biomedical research, and aeronautics. I also requested that the Committee support $40 million for the Space Grant Program for FY 2017 to help sustain the pipeline of students striving for innovative, high-tech American jobs. NASA’s continued efforts toward further scientific discoveries will allow America to lead the rest of the world in research and innovation as we continue to pave the way for a more advanced tomorrow.
More on Scientific Discovery
In the wake of the Soviets launching the Sputnik satellites, Congress scrambled to organize a civilian led U.S. space program. After much debate as to the organization and authority of this new space program, the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, was signed into law on July 29, 1958, establishing NASA. T. Keith Glennan became NASA’s first administrator. NASA officially opened for operation on October 1, 1958.
On the night of the 240th celebration of America’s independence, NASA’s Juno space probe arrived at Jupiter. Nearly five years after being launched from Cape Canaveral in 2011, the exploratory spacecraft completed its 1.7 billion mile journey to Jupiter’s orbit.
On March 15th, 2016, the Liberty Science Center announced a major renovation of its IMAX dome, making the non-profit interactive museum home to the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. The planetarium’s opening is planned for December, 2017, and will further the Liberty Science Center’s goal of improving access to STEM educational resources through a wide array of exhibits, particularly focused on children.
Did you know that scientists in the not-so-distant future could be sending thousands of miniature spacecraft outside our solar system at one-fifth the speed of light?