Congress, NASA

Congressional delegation to witness shuttle launch

If all goes well, the space shuttle Endeavour will lift off Saturday morning on the STS-127 mission to the International Space Station. Among those planning to watch the launch is a bipartisan Congressional delegation led by Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL). Those members planning to attend the launch with Kosmas are:

Mike Conaway (R-TX-11)
Jim Costa (D-CA-20)
Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ-8)
Parker Griffith (D-AL-5)
Ralph Hall (R-TX-4)
Randy Neugebauer (R-TX-19)
Pete Olson (R-TX-22)
Aaron Schock (R-IL-18)

“With so few launches left before Shuttle retirement, I want my colleagues to fully grasp what it would mean for our country to have a prolonged period of time without direct access to space or the International Space Station,” she said in a statement. “I am confident that after this experience, many more will join in my fight to minimize the gap and ensure that we continue to have a robust human spaceflight program.”

Speaking at a Space Transportation Association luncheon Wednesday on Capitol Hill, Congresswoman Giffords discussed the challenges in getting members to take time from their schedules to attend a launch. “I was not happy to see so few members at the Hubble launch” last month, she said. “We can’t do this for every launch, but I’m really pleased to get a critical mass for members coming down.”

“If we’re going to get people excited about space, trust me, there is no easier way, with all the demands on our time and all the people who come to see us, than to go to a shuttle launch,” Giffords added. “It’s amazing.”

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