John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis, Space Station Savior, Passes Away, Space Policy Online

"Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) passed away yesterday. A legendary civil rights activist, his role at a pivotal point in the history of the space station program is less well known. He is the Member of Congress who cast the deciding vote in 1993 to continue the program despite years of cost overruns and schedule delays. Today's International Space Station might not exist without his support."

Keith's note: I sat at my desk at NASA Space Station Freedom Program Office in 1993 listening to the roll call wondering if I'd have a job. John Lewis did indeed save the space station.

In voting to keep the space station program alive Rep. Lewis said: "I still believe, as do the majority of the American people, that it is America's destiny to explore space. Not for the cold war reasoning of proving we are the greatest Nation on Earth, but because we are the greatest Nation on Earth. We became great by dreaming and pursuing that dream. As soon as we lose the ability to dream and reach for the stars we cease to be great. Madam Chairman, let us keep the dream alive. Support the space station. All mankind will continue to reap the magnitude of benefits from this program." Update - see below 1

1 Reader note: "It's a great quote, but it's from the wrong Rep. Lewis. This is from Rep. Tom Lewis of Florida, and he never actually had the chance to speak these word during the debate because he ran out of time and had to submit it in writing. Citation: Page 13669: https://www.congress.gov/103/crecb/1993/06/30/GPO-CRECB-1993-pt10-2.pdf - https://www.c-span.org/video/?43471-1/house-session"

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 19, 2020 2:02 PM.

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