Florida lawmakers celebrate space launch return to the state

Capitol Review

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Despite a delay to the highly anticipated NASA SpaceX launch Florida Congressman Neal Dunn (R-FL) expects the achievement to be a great boost to his state’s economy.

“This makes money, space makes money,” Dunn said.

The launch will mark the return to space from US soil after nearly a decade.

The U.S. has been catching rides on Russian rockets since NASA retired its’ space fleet in 2011.

“I don’t think we should be paying Russia to get our astronauts to the International Space station,” Steube (R-FL) said.

Steube said it is up to Congress to keep America competitive in space.

“We need to continue a level of funding that is appropriate to support NASA’s mission.”

This mission also marks the first time NASA astronauts will fly in a commercially built spacecraft. Lawmakers said the public-private partnership between NASA and SpaceX could help lift the country into a whole new level of space exploration.

“We’re helping them with the research but they’re spending their money to get to space and that’s a magical combination,” Dunn said.

“Anytime you can invoke the public private sector, you’re going to get innovation,” Steube added.

Democratic Florida Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL) said in a statement the launch is cementing “our state’s starring role in human space exploration.”

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