A different kind of debate about NASA

Many space advocates complain about the lack of attention NASA gets in Congress or elsewhere in politics. Well, they should check out the Houston City Council, where two councilmen are arguing about who’s the bigger NASA supporter, according to KTRK-TV. An at-large council member, Peter Brown, sent around a memo to the mayor and other council members, asking for a resolution that “acknowledges the economic benefit of NASA” to the city. Seems harmless enough, right?

That earned a sharp rebuke from another council member, Mike Sullivan, whose district includes the Johnson Space Center. “Please do NOT act on Peter Brown’s email to you regarding NASA and writing a resolution,” he wrote in an email obtained by the station. “NASA is in my council district, and I am absolutely all over this issue. Brown is not in the loop, has no idea what is going on behind the scenes, who is involved already, and what our strategy is.” Sullivan later said that he felt he was the “point man” on the issue on the city council, and saw Brown as an interloper.

While space agency supporters might appreciate his passion, the sad part about all of this that, in the end, whether or not the Houston City Council passes a resolution in support of NASA will have effectively zero impact on the debate about the agency’s future plans and funding in Washington.

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