In an address this past Saturday to the International Space Station Research and Development Conference, U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) outlined the United States’ space priorities as it entered into a new “space race” with China.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee and ranking member of its Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, Aderholt plays a leading role in setting forth space-related congressional policy initiatives.
In his speech, Aderholt asserted that the current space race against the communist regime had “far more on the line” compared to the Cold War-era ambitions of the former Soviet Union.
“The space race of today is not like the one we faced with the Soviets,” said the North Alabama congressman. “One can actually argue that the space race today has far more on the line.”
“In this new era where the United States is being challenged across every sector, our American space enterprise cannot afford to lose focus or momentum,” he added. “Therefore, to ensure the United States remains the global space power, we must commit to a set of pillars that are based on principles.”
Pillars of U.S. space power as provided by Aderholt’s congressional office:
According to Aderholt, NASA must leverage its partnerships with American aerospace and defense industry leaders to further bolster the United States’ space exploration and research efforts. This includes ensuring that the agency’s Artemis program is fully prepared to advance in its mission, indicated the congressman.
“The United States must also establish a strong, permanent presence in space. In low earth orbit, we must support U.S. industry efforts to develop commercial space destinations and a thriving economy so that our adversaries do not fill the gap,” he warned. “Beyond low earth orbit, NASA must enhance its partnership with the commercial space industry to guarantee Gateway is developed on time — that the U.S. lunar base is fully functional and sustainable and that we have the necessary nuclear technologies to go on to Mars.”
Advising that it was critical for the United States to “contain Chinese space ambitions,” Aderholt said the threat posed to the homeland by the dictatorial nation “must be taken very seriously.”
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL