Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the incoming chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, announced yesterday the list of Republican members who will serve on the committee in the next Congress. The list includes many returning members, including former chairmen Ralph Hall (R-TX) and JAmes Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Among the others coming back are space subcommittee chairman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) and current space subcommittee members Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Scott Rigell (R-VA), and Mo Brooks (R-AL).
The list includes several new committee members, either existing members of Congress being assigned to the committee or newly-elected members. In the former category is Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), whose district will now include the entire Space Coast. (He previously shared the region with Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL), who served on the space subcommittee; Florida redistricting moved her closer to Orlando and into a primary against Rep. John Mica (R-FL), who defeated her.) Posey’s appointment ensures that the region will continue to have a voice on the committee. “Space Coast residents will continue to have a strong advocate in Congress for human space flight, space exploration and technological innovation,” Posey said in a statement Thursday.
Among the new members of Congress joining the committee is Rep.-elect Jim Bridenstine (R-OK). After leaving active duty as a pilot in the US Navy, he served as executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, spearheading a long-shot—and ultimately unsuccessful—effort to have NASA award one of the Space Shuttle orbiters to the city. He also organized an air show in Tulsa in April 2010 that featured flights by rocket-powered X-Racer planes of the Rocket Racing League, and owned one of the teams in the league.