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  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2015

    by Representative Sander M. Levin

    Posted on 2015-02-10

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    LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the NASA Authorization bill before the House.

    This legislation is important because it reaffirms Congress' commitment to space exploration and the important role NASA plays in the areas of science, aeronautics, exploration, and human spaceflight. Over the next few months, NASA spacecraft will visit Pluto and the dwarf planet Ceres for the first time. We will further develop our nation's commercial launch capability even as NASA continues work on the Orion space capsule and a new heavy-lift rocket. NASA will also build on its efforts in the important areas of space science and education. The bill before the House supports all of these endeavors.

    I want to mention one NASA program in particular, the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. This program gives students across the country the chance to design microgravity experiments to fly in Earth orbit. Indeed, one of these experiments is scheduled to come home from the International Space Station today. The experiment was designed by a team of four students from Wilkinson Middle School in Madison Heights, Michigan. The experiment involves the effects of microgravity on water purification. In Michigan, we tend to take the availability of fresh water for granted since we are surrounded by the Great Lakes, but water is a rare and precious commodity in space, and hopefully this experiment will help future astronauts to re-use water.

    I want to commend the students who have worked so hard on this microgravity experiment: Regina Alsabagh, Farah Sabah, Maryam Kafra and Israa Alfadhli. Their achievement is all the more remarkable since their experiment originally was supposed to be carried into orbit last October, but that rocket exploded shortly after liftoff, destroying the students' experiment. Fortunately, NASA was able to find space on a rocket to the space station that launched in January, and the Wilkinson students managed to build a second version of their experiment in time for that flight.

    I congratulate the Wilkinson students for their hard work, perseverance, and determination to overcome obstacles. It's important that Congress continue to support NASA and efforts like the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program. I urge all my colleagues to join me in voting for the NASA Authorization bill.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Mississippi (Mr. Palazzo) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 810.

    The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the bill was passed.

    A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.


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