Giffords on NASA, Mars, and personal spaceflight

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) has probably gotten more attention than the typical freshman representative, in large part because of who she’s married to: NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. In an interview with Politico, she discusses that as well as a few other space-related issues:

  • “NASA is an extension of how the United States has been a leader historically in science and technology,” she says. “But unfortunately, just like in many other areas, NASA is falling behind.”
  • Talking about human exploration of Mars, she’s obviously not enthused about having her husband go on a one-way trip to Mars. As for others, “The whole purpose of sending humans into space is so they can come back and tell us what they can see.”
  • Asked if she’s interested in flying in space herself, she said she was, and spoke favorably about ventures like Virgin Galactic. “I couldn’t afford that,” she said, citing its $200,000 price tag. “But I think someday in our lifetime an experience in space for the Average Joe will be more cost effective.”

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