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Astrobiology

When Supporting Space Comes Back To Bite You

By Keith Cowing
October 30, 2018
Filed under
When Supporting Space Comes Back To Bite You

For the 7th Congressional District: Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, opinion, Houston Chronicle
“It’s not that Culberson doesn’t care about water. He does. But most of the time, he seems to care a bit more about the water on Europa, an icy moon orbiting Jupiter, than he does the water in the Addicks and Barker dams. Or in our bayous. Or in our homes. Culberson has expended untold political capital trying to force NASA to send probes to Europa in search of alien life. That’s an admirable scientific mission, even if some planetary researchers think the limited resources could be better spent. Here on Earth, Houstonians can rest assured that Fletcher will prioritize human life over the extraterrestrial. That includes life-saving flooding policies that emphasize prevention over costly recovery.”
Keith’s note: Rep. Culberson has been a tireless champion of the exploration of Europa, Astrobiology, SETI, and interstellar exploration. If the House flips Rep. Culberson will lose his House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies chairmanship. With that will go his overt advocacy and the ability to use that advocacy as chair to push things through the appropriations process. Rep. José Serrano, New York is the ranking member of the subcommittee and is poised to take over as chair. Serrano is not known for any overt support for these things – and he is certainly not the active advocate that Culberson has been. Elections have consequences.
Meanwhile, a PAC supporting Culberson’s opponent is running a goofy ad that dumps on him for supporting space science at NASA – some of which studies climate change. Based on this ad Culberson’s opponent is apparently against funding NASA. This is an odd stance to take in an area where NASA is a major economic force.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.