Perry blasts off on end of shuttle program
July 21st, 2011
05:45 PM ET
3 years ago

Perry blasts off on end of shuttle program

Washington (CNN) – The space shuttle Atlantis cooled off after its re-entry into Earth's atmosphere but Texas Governor Rick Perry is white-hot about the Obama administration's approach to space exploration.

In a press release following the shuttle's Thursday morning return to the Kennedy Space Center Perry launched on the end of the shuttle program.

"With the final landing of the shuttle Atlantis and no indication of plans for future missions, this administration has set a significantly different milestone by shutting down our nation's legacy of leadership in human spaceflight and exploration, leaving American astronauts with no alternative but to hitchhike into space," Perry said in a written statement.

Perry's home state is a big player in the space industry. Johnson Space Center is located just outside Houston and is the home to NASA's astronauts. The area employs thousands of workers in the aerospace industry.

With no current vehicle to get astronauts into space, the Lone Star Republican continued his criticism. "The Obama Administration continues to lead federal agencies and programs astray, this time forcing NASA away from its original purpose of space exploration, and ignoring its groundbreaking past and enormous future potential. It is time to restore NASA to its core purpose of manned space exploration, and to define our vision for 21st Century space exploration, not in terms of what we cannot do, but instead in terms of what we will do." Perry said.

President Obama has addressed his commitment to the space program before.

"I am 100 percent committed to the mission of NASA and its future," Obama told workers at the Kennedy Space Center in April, 2010, the very place where the program came to an end Thursday. "By the mid-2030s I believe we can send people to orbit Mars and bring them safely back to Earth," Obama said. Landing on Mars will follow, and "I expect to be around to see it," he said.


Filed under: NASA • President Obama • Rick Perry
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. RJWTimes Bradford England

    It is outrageous that they can't find work for the people who were employed on shuttle missions.

    July 21, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Mah

    Congress voted it out of the budget, right? Not Obama's fault, not Obama's priorities. I'm sure he would've kept it if he could.

    July 21, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Jon

    This guy just loves to spend, spend, spend. If he wants it so badly, he can pay for it out of his own pocket.

    July 21, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. amlcpamaine

    I thought these loonies wanted SMALLER government! Frankly, I expect to see many 'sweet deals' between congressmen, governors and the corporate execs who'll take over our spaceshot programs in the coming years.

    July 21, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. NVa Native

    Is this typical of all people from Texas or just their politicians – stupid and always the last to know.

    July 21, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Bruce

    How out of touch is this guy!!!!! He's railling about a space program when we have record numbers of homless men, women and children...not to mention this record debt. But then again, I expected this empty suit to say something off the rocker like this.

    July 21, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  7. Rider

    But surely he knows that space exploration and NASA are just a waste of taxpayer dollars and could be done more efficiently by private investment? That's the republican spiel isn't it? PLUS, there is no way the constitution allows the government to spend money on this as the writers of that great document couldn't even have dreamed that space travel would someday be possible. This couldn't have anything to do with all those NASA jobs now disappearing in Houston could it? Heaven forbid he's advocating that taxpayers should support those jobs!

    July 21, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. Jeffer65

    I'd love to see our space program continue, but we're broke. I'm sorry that NASA employees will lose their jobs, but we're broke. Republicans will cut SS, Medicare, and other important programs, but want to continue building up our defense and the space program. Our own government is bringing this country down from within.

    July 21, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. John

    In case you haven't notice American has a dept problem ,,You Republican can't even get a deal done on the dept ceiling done. And you Republican want to cuts spending. Well let get America back on it feet be for we start worry about space. And let get us out of these wars. You are a Idiot like I have heard. I tell you One thing the Tea Party just keep putting the Idiot out there. You should be Proud of your self. Here you want to take money Away from the Senior and medicare, and medicaid. But you want to spend a lot of money to go Into space. This Is just go to show the American People just were the Republican head Is. They sat they want to cut spending ,but everything the open there mouth They are talking about spending money. So does this mean everything the Republican has say Is a LIE. If you are not worrying about spending than get a dept ceiling deal done.

    July 21, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. Blame Bush

    Perry is an idiot. Maybe he should raise taxes in Texas to pay for a shuttle program and run it on Texas Tax money. Yes?

    July 21, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. Rich

    Obama says he is 100% behind NASA with the result being 6000 lost jobs. Good thing he isn't 200% behind NASA.

    July 21, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. david in florida

    He's peeved because Houston/Texas is losing thousands of jobs, so he blames the Democrats/Oblama.
    In the same breath he and his tea bagger supporters demands that the federal government become smaller and take away grandmas Social Security and Medicare.
    No surprises here.

    July 21, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Squealy

    What a joke! I love the space program too and am way bummed it is being cut, but c'mon! This is THE perfect example of conservative republican hypocrisy in the face of the looming debt ceiling and their DEMAND that the budget be balanced on cuts alone. Yeah, just don't cut MY stuff! This is also a beautiful demonstration of how budget cuts will lead to more job losses, as dems point out. The last thing this country needed was a bunch of neophyte tea-partiers bullying their way through the act of policy-making with their take no prisoners attitude.

    July 21, 2011 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. Namepolert

    Don't raise taxes, cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, cut education, but by golly NASA is real important to this windfag

    July 21, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Good Riddance

    Another Texan wanna be. Go become part of Mexico please !!!

    July 21, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. Toni

    Governor Perry may amnesia now because he may run for the presidency, but it was President George W. Bush who decided to retire the shuttle fleet and build another mode of transportation into space. The plan was for the US to build another space vehicle, one that could eventually carry Americans to the moon and Mars but NASA didn't have enough time or money to get it done. Since that time, it was Congress, not President Obama that decided not to extend the life of the shuttles until a new spaceship is built.

    July 21, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  17. once upon a horse

    for a man that is constantly complaining about government intervention into our state and that he wants no help from Washington, Rick Perry seems to do a lot of whining when he doesn't get his way from the feds. I guess since he sees himself as a Washington outsider if God forbid he did become POTUS he would still live in Austin I guess. I invite all sensible people to take a good look at any photo of Rick Perry. This guy isn't the brightest bulb in the lamp and it shows. Ten years here in Texas for me proves it.

    July 21, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    If Perry is so interested in space exploration, let him pay for it. This guy talks out of both sides of his mouth. What a loser.

    July 21, 2011 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. GOP = Greed Over People

    Yo' Pompadour Perry, your slip is showing.

    Remember, you are the President of the State of Texass, you HATE "big government" and the Feds giving away taxpayer's money while interfering with states rights! Instead of showing your hypocrisy, you should have a lump in your throat and your chest should swell with pride.

    Consider the closing of the Houston complex the first step towards "smaller government"!

    Your support of small government and the Feds staying out of the state's business is why you went to all those tea bagging rallies, isn't it?

    July 21, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  20. azmary

    At 430 to 450 billion dollars a trip, we cannot continue to keep running a cargo ship back and forth to the space station. If we are going to spend that kind of money let's get something new going. Amazing how some people are willing to spend my tax dollars for something that is not adding much to our knowledge of space travel, but squeal like little girls when they are asked to ante up more for health research and education programs that provide direct benefits here in the United States. Currentely we spend 1.5 billion on health research per year, just think what we could do if we dedicated the cost of one launch to health research.

    July 21, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  21. molleja

    "I'm 100% committed to the mission of NASA and its future"....what a lying, deceitful hypocrite. This man (Obama) is a disgrace and danger to America.

    July 21, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  22. Steve/Oklahoma

    Where does Texas keep coming up with these Governors? The most intellectually challenged only get the job?

    July 21, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  23. independent

    With a very tough Federal budget fight over spending, deficits and debt, Rick Perry wants the federal government to keep funding NASA at previous of higher levels. This is the same person who cut spending on basic education in his own state of Texas.

    He wants the President and Congress to send federal funds to his state, even though 1) he wanted to succeed from the Federal Government and 2) has also criticized federal spending. Apparently he wants his cake and eat it to.

    July 21, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. rhumba

    So federal programs and big government are bad until losing them adversely affects Texas?

    July 21, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    Uh – I think that program was cut by his mental twin, W.

    July 21, 2011 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
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