Perry blasts off on end of shuttle program
July 21st, 2011
05:45 PM ET
7 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. GI Joe

    Where ya gonna get the money? Oh, Guvment you say? The same guvment you hate? The same guvment you blast daily even tho they/we paid 75% of your fire-fighting expenses?

    Oh - that Guvment.

    July 21, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. Jake

    wow! he believes that space exists!?

    July 21, 2011 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. JennyDE

    While I agree with him on defining NASA by what we can do, getting back to putting people in space and pushing our space boundaries, it's awfully ironic coming from Rick Perry, Mr. Small Government. I guess it's all the other (read: non-Texan) programs that should be cut.

    July 21, 2011 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |

    Perry wants the federal money in TX but he doesn't want to raise any federal money, exactly how does that work Mr. Perry?

    July 21, 2011 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. Greg

    So privatization is good, with the exception of governement jobs in my state.

    July 21, 2011 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. Rev Mkell,

    Didn't the Tea Party tell him that he is suppose to be against any spending! Oh wait big corporations make big money on the space program!! Maybe the Tea Party will call for the cutting EPA, FAA, FCC, CDC so we can have a few more launches!

    July 21, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Fiscal conservatives should remind Perry that ending the Space Shuttle Program will save tax payer's money and help in reducing the national deficit.

    July 21, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  8. John

    Wasn't it Bush and the Republican congress that defunded the space shuttle?

    July 21, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. jma58

    Maybe Rumsfield and the other advisers who have been home schooling Perry should have told him that it wasn't Obama who ended the shuttle program. I believe that occured during the Bush administration.

    July 21, 2011 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  10. Namezeb

    Give me more federal pork, sez lil ricky
    We do so love those taxpayer handouts

    July 21, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  11. Jim In OC

    Are all the Tea Baggers are this crazy?

    July 21, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. Indy

    Maybe Perry and the rest of the Republicans should have spoke up when Bush was bankrupting the country

    July 21, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. AJ Igel

    IF I recall correctly, it was Bush that set about the end of the Shuttle program, Obama just followed the plan. Perhaps he should talk to his old buddy.

    July 21, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  14. steven harnack

    Apparently he forgot or didn't know that the shuttle program has been winding down for four years now, ever since fellow Texan George Bush ended the shuttle program in 2007. How typical.

    July 21, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. nintex

    Perry just wants something to gripe about. President Obama is so far ahead of Perry in the thinking ahead department that it's not funny. If this were a Republican president Perry would be all for it, pointing out how much money will be saved by shutting down the space program.

    July 21, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. A disillusioned Republican

    Wasn't it Perry who said Texas didn't want federal dollars? Wasn't he the guy that said Texas should secede from the union? What a difference a few billion fewer dollars makes? I guess Perry speaks with a forked tongue. Oh, I forgot! Perry is a republican; lies are common with them.

    July 21, 2011 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. JH

    How does Gov. Perry (endorsed by no-tax Grover Norquist) propose to pay? Or is this another case of a no-tax Republican eschewing taxes, except those (on others) that specifically benefit him?

    July 21, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. CGeek2k


    Wait, no, only cut spending to things that don't affect ME...

    July 21, 2011 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. Peggy

    I'm all for the space program too...Mr Perry are you willing to raise your taxes to pay for it? I live in Texas and this guy is such a jerk. Does he really think the country is ready for another Texas governor as president...don't think so. He would make Bush look like a scholar.

    July 21, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  20. Tanja

    Republican's need to make up their minds....Don't Spend Money....Spend Money....Don't Spend Money ....Spend Money...

    July 21, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. Dr. Bonehead

    Newsflash, Mr. Perry. The space shuttle program was scheduled for termination by Mike Griffin under George W Bush. The successor program, known as Constellation, was at least 6 years behind schedule and billions over budget by the time Obama canceled it. That slippage occurred mainly on Bush's watch also. The replacement program calls on US corporations to innovate our way out of this predicament, and fosters competing companies in much the same vein as commercial aviation. The government-led program it replaces has demonstrated it could not meet the cost and schedule we want.
    So exactly what is your alternative? Going back to the government-led option, and trying again?

    July 21, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  22. azmary

    Sorry, that is 450 million per launch. So our adding cost of one launch per year would raise research to about 2 billion per year.

    July 21, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  23. Joe

    Not sure what Perry's issue is with the end of the Space Shuttle. He can just gather a group of People and pray the Rapture takes place real soon. He will get a free ride into space.

    July 21, 2011 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  24. Used to be in the Middle

    Perry is for all-cuts budgets and hates the Federal Government, but now he wants to invest in NASA?? With what money since he doesn't want to ask ultra-wealthy people to pay their fair share of taxes? Oh, I suppose he will take the money from struggling middle class families like he does in Texas, then more people can slip slowly into poverty and the rest of the country will look like Texas which as the highest percentage of kids who do not graduate high school, the highest percentage of people without any health insurance, and the largest percentage of people who work for only minimum wage. That's the way things look when the GOP is in charge.

    July 21, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. Steve

    If Rick Perry wants to blame someone, he needs to blame fellow Republican and former Texas Governor George W Bush. Bush is the one who cut the NASA budget while he was in office. President Obama shares part of the blame because he let it stand.

    July 21, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
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