GOP lawmaker calls for bolstering research budgets to help space program

Rep. Frank LucasFrank Dean LucasGOP lawmaker calls for bolstering research budgets to help space program The Hill's Morning Report - With trial over, Biden renews push for COVID-19 bill Hillicon Valley: Parler announces official relaunch | Google strikes news pay deal with major Australian media company | China central to GOP efforts to push back on Biden MORE (R-Okla.) on Tuesday said strengthening investments in science will help pave the way for greater achievements in programs like space exploration.

Speaking at The Hill’s “Aspiration and Resilience: The New Space Age” event, Lucas said he “equates science and the federal investment as determining what kind of future this nation has, and for that matter, the world.”

“If we invest in science, there is no telling what potential the future has for all of us,” Lucas told The Hill’s Steve Clemons.

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Lucas, who serves as ranking member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said he expects consistent support and federal funding for science and technology during the Biden administration.

He also said that the Artemis Program is important in developing technology that will enable Mars exploration. The Artemis Program aims to put the first woman, and the next man, on the moon by 2024.

NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins, who also spoke at Tuesday’s event underwritten by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, said that in addition to the Artemis Program she was excited by the amount of collaboration on NASA missions.

“There is certainly quite a bit of what we are doing in space, in microgravity, that transfers to our understanding and knowledge that continues our understanding in the medical field as well as many others,” said Watkins, one of 18 astronauts working on the Artemis Program.