Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congressman Rob Bishop

Representing the 1st District of Utah

Congressman Bishop’s Statement Following Today’s Meeting with NASA Administrator Bolden

April 16, 2010
Press Release
Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) issued the following statement after meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden today.  Bishop, along with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) met with Administrator Bolden to discuss the President Obama's plans to cancel NASA's human space flight program.

"I appreciated Administrator Bolden taking the time to hear my concerns regarding the cancellation of the Ares rocket.  The President's misguided policies will have far reaching consequences that not only put thousands of Utahns out of a job, but leave our country's missile defense system in a vulnerable and compromising position.  

"Under the President's plan, our country stands to lose a uniquely skilled industrial base that develops not only solid rocket systems that put astronauts into space, but also our country's missile defense systems.  

"While we were encouraged by General Bolden's willingness to meet with us, it remains unclear as to whether or not the Administration will reconsider its plans to cede our position as global leaders in space to countries such as Russia, China and India.

"I remain concerned that under both Obama's old and new plan, the U.S. will still pay the Russians $55 million per astronaut, per trip as a taxi-service to go to the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz for many years to come.  Therefore, millions of tax dollars will be spent each year to help subsidize the Russian Space Program and put thousands of Russians to work.  Meanwhile, 30,000 Americans will be out of work during a time of severe economic instability

"As I shared with General Bolden, Ares rocket is the most responsible way forward regarding the future of human space travel.  Despite what this Administration is saying, dismantling the current Constellation program and renaming an entirely new plan "Constellation" does not mean it is the same thing.  To the contrary.  

"I stressed to General Bolden that it is counterproductive to  terminate contracts given to  private sector companies that have proven successful and giving them to other private sector companies.  This is the purest example of picking winners and losers.  

"While I appreciated General Bolden's willingness to discuss and hopefully address our concerns, I assured him that I remain steadfast in my efforts to ensure that we maintain the proven and successful Ares rocket as the next generation of human space flight."  

Alliant Techsystems (ATK), the primary contractor for the Ares rocket, employees nearly 5,000 Utahns across the state.  Under President Obama's plan, nearly 2,000 ATK employees in Utah would be negatively affected by the cancellation of the Ares rocket.