As many people suspected, the president did not mention space policy or NASA specifically during his State of the Union speech tonight. (The closest item relevant to space policy was a passing reference to “reform export controls consistent with national security”, an always-hot topic for the commercial space industry.) Less than an hour after he completed his speech, one member of Congress, Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL), issued a statement that, in part, expressed disappointment about the omission:
I am also disappointed that the President did not take this opportunity to highlight the importance of NASA and human spaceflight, especially in light of reports casting doubt on the future of our space exploration program. Human spaceflight boosts our economy, helps develop countless new technologies, and supports thousands of jobs in Central Florida and across the country. Space exploration is also critical for inspiring this and future generations to excel in science and technology that will make us competitive in the 21st Century.
The President has pledged to minimize the spaceflight gap and Space Coast families are looking for him to fulfill that promise. It will be unacceptable if his budget does not reflect a commitment to a robust human spaceflight program.