Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced the Space Research Innovation Act on Friday “to allow the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to partner with universities to conduct deep-space research and mission development,” according to a press release.
While the Department of Defense regularly partners with universities — know as “University Affiliated Research Centers” — NASA has not yet created such permanent partnerships for research and development.
Biggs cites the May 30 SpaceX Falcon 9 launch — in which astronauts launched from U.S. soil for space for the first time in nearly a decade — as his inspiration for the bill.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 31, 2020
“Last month, we witnessed an extraordinary achievement when for the first time in nearly a decade, U.S. astronauts returned to orbit in a domestically manufactured spacecraft,” Biggs said in a statement. “Like all Americans, I was inspired by this remarkable feat, and it has encouraged me to think about ways for the U.S. to maintain its edge as a leader in space.”
As space reclaims the nation’s interest with more launches and innovations, Biggs seeks to maximize the knowledge of scientists in NASA and the country’s universities.
“Universities benefit from the prestige and educational opportunities that a UARC brings; NASA benefits from the collaborative research,” Biggs said. “My legislation will encourage more utilization of this mutually advantageous model to foster the next generation of space exploration and discovery.”
With the instatement of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the military and U.S. senators moving to make UFO information public, space is becoming a more familiar conversation in politics for the first time in decades.
— NASA (@NASA) June 1, 2020
Biggs sees these potential partnerships as beneficial for both NASA and the schools’ goals and missions.
“In many ways, these institutions are a perfect partner for NASA. Not only do American universities benefit from some of the world’s best scientists, they are also natural incubators of multidisciplinary research and private sector cooperation,” Biggs said. “Best of all, NASA missions affiliated with universities have a proven track record of reaching completion on-time and on-budget.”
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Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar kicked off House Foreign Affairs Committee
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar was voted off the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday. The action was expected, as Republican members of Congress had criticized Omar’s antisemetic and anti-American rhetoric.
After intense debating on the House floor, the resolution passed with a 218-211 vote. Democrats attempted to pull the race card, accusing Republican House members of racism for removing Omar from the committee.
Omar also accused House Republicans of racism, saying, “I am Muslim, I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa…Is anyone surprised that I am being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy, or that they see me as a powerful voice that needs to be silenced?”
“There is this idea that you are a suspect if you are an immigrant or if you are from certain parts of the world or certain skin tone or a muslim.” Omar said during the heated debate. A fiery Alexandria Ocasia Cortez also chimed in shouting, “This is an attack on women of color!”
Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, from New York, said she had personally witnessed Omar spew anti-American rhetoric. Malliotakis said, “I have been in that committee room where, the representative, equates Israel and the United States to Hamas and the Taliban. Absolutely unacceptable for a member of that committee.”
A four-page resolution was written for the justification of removing Omar from the house Foreign Affairs Committee. The resolution states that in 2019, Omar suggested that Jewish people were buying U.S. political support when she posted on Twitter, “it’s all about the Benjamins, baby.”
Omar also commented on the September 11th attacks saying, “some people did something.” This type of comment is unacceptable for any representative who is sitting on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lawmakers said.
In the resolution it states that members of this committee should all be held to an “equal standard of conduct due to the international sensitivities and national security concerns under the jurisdiction of this committee.”
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