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Congressman Rohrabacher's Statement on the Aldridge Commission Report

Jun 16, 2004
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Washington, Jun 16, 2004 - June 16, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Aaron Lewis (202) 225-2415

(Washington, D.C.) Pete Aldridge and his non-partisan commission of space experts have given the President and Congress a clear strategy for achieving America's new Vision for Space Exploration: open up space to free enterprise so that NASA can focus limited tax dollars on the edge of the space frontier.

Among the Commission's recommendations I strongly support:

  • Incentivize non-traditional businesses, including both entrepreneurs and non-aerospace major companies to invest their ideas and capitalin making space exploration more affordable and profitable.
  • NASA should turn over Earth-to-orbit space transportation to private firms, especially resupplying the International Space Station, but also include the private sector every step of the way to the Moon and beyond.
  • The Federal Government needs to streamline regulatory burdens so that Paul Allen, Jeff Bezos, and Dennis Tito can develop new passenger-carrying spaceships. The House of Representatives passed HR 3752 to do just this three months ago, but the bill is still awaiting action in the Senate.
  • Congress can also spur investment through the use of tax incentives, such as those proposed in my Zero-Gravity, Zero-Tax Act of 2003 (H.R. 914.)
  • While other nations can play a supportive role in space exploration, the real benefits may come not from government-to-government partnerships but rather from U.S. companies working with foreign firms, such as the Russians, to create the best value for taxpayers everywhere.

Next week Burt Rutan is going to try and fly a private citizen into space on a totally commercial vehicle that got no federal funding. Hopefully this Commission report, plus that demonstration of entpreneurial ingenuity, will pursuade NASA to undergo radical surgery so that America can indeed lead humanity back to the Moon, on to Mars, and beyond into the solar system.

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