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U.S. Senator Says NASA Can Not Make To Mars Alone

Republican Ted Cruz Says Government Must Leverage Private Sector Money To Accomplish The Mission

NASA is focused on going to Mars. In every news release concerning the SLS or Orion systems, the agency touts their importance to sending astronauts to the Red Planet.

But the U.S Senator who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness which oversees NASA recently said that the space agency cannot make it to Mars without the help of the private sector.

In an interview with Ars Technica following a ceremony at NASA's Johnson Space Center announcing the first astronauts to fly as part of the agency's Commercial Crew program, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that even though NASA's budgets have been increasing for the past few years, "we’re never going to have sufficient taxpayer money to fund what needs to be done in space unless we can leverage billions and billions of dollars from the private sector. That's how we get the resources that are really needed to conquer the next frontier."

Cruz praised innovation by SpaceX and other companies, saying they are a catalyst for optimism concerning space exploration. He said the development of reusable rockets, which would have been considered science fiction just a few years ago, is "the kind of innovation it's going to take to get to Mars and beyond, and it is only through robust competition in the private sector that we'll see that happen."

Senator Cruz said that he feels there is strong bipartisan support in Congress for NASA to work more closely with the commercial space industry to achieve its goals.

(Image from file)

FMI: Original report

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