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Rubio: Disconnect Between American Public, Space Program

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The Space Launch System will be built with the help of this 170 ft. tall welder at Michoud, New Orleans. Photo- NASA

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Marco Rubio toured the Kennedy Space Center Wednesday where he met with NASA officials to discuss the space program.

The South Florida Republican said since the demise of the shuttle program, he thinks there’s a disconnect between the American public and what NASA does.

He was asked about funding for NASA, and concerns that the agency doesn’t have enough money to build its new rocket, the Space Launch System, which is designed to carry a new spacecraft- the Orion- to an asteroid or Mars.

Rubio said the first step is to get people excited about what the agency is doing- and the unmanned test flight of Orion in December should help.

“Because when people see that capsule exit the earth’s atmosphere and re-enter once again, they’ll be reminded again of what we do in the 70s and ‘60s during the Apollo program, and they’ll be motivated to tackle that again in a new frontier and a new challenge, before our country,” said Rubio.

“And that is placing boots on the ground, on Mars.”

Rubio’s visit came a few days after SpaceX announced it would build a commercial launch site in Texas, not Florida as local aerospace advocates were hoping.

He said he believes this state still has a robust future in the commercial space industry.

Audio of Marco Rubio’s press conference at Kennedy Space Center Supplied by Florida Today

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

A recent transplant to the Sunshine State, Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of ... Read Full Bio »