Sen. Cruz: The First Person Who Lands on Mars Will Be An American Explorer

Delivers remarks to the 2018 Humans to Mars Summit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competiveness, today delivered remarks to the 2018 Human to Mars Summit at George Washington University. There he discussed his efforts to advance America’s leadership in space and land an American on the surface of Mars in the 2030s.

Watch Sen. Cruz’s full remarks here.

“Space matters. Every one of us—from every little boy, from every little girl—has looked up into the skies, the stars at night, and wondered, what’s out there? Who’s out there?” Sen. Cruz said. “What does the solar system hold? What does the universe hold? That spirit of adventure, that spirit of exploration, is fundamental to who we are as human beings. It’s fundamental to our future.”

Sen. Cruz reiterated his belief that the first person to land on Mars will be an American.

“The first foot that sets foot on Mars will be an American foot, and an American explorer. That’s leadership that I think this country needs and values. Restoring America’s leadership in space I think is incredibly important.”

Sen. Cruz also highlighted the bipartisan passage of both the Cruz-Nelson NASA Transition Authorization Act in 2017, and the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act in 2015.

“This is a partisan, polarized time in Washington. That is lost on nobody. D’s and R’s it seems fight like cats and dogs over just about everything. But here’s a bit of good news. One of the very few exceptions concerns space. The last several years I’ve been privileged to chair the Space Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee. And in the last several years we’ve moved two major pieces of legislation through that committee into passage. In 2015, the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, which I introduced, and we were able to get Democrats and Republicans together. […] We were able to pass that legislation through both houses of Congress. It went to the White House and President Obama signed it.”

“Then two years later—2017—passed the NASA Authorization Act of 2017. It was the first authorization for NASA in seven years; 2010 was the last time we had a NASA authorization bill. Once again we had to navigate battles between D’s and R’s, battles between the House and the Senate, regional battles. And yet once again we were able to bring everyone together on the same page. And that legislation in turn was signed by President Trump. Now listen, there are not many areas of substance on anything where you have a major piece of legislation signed by Barack Obama and another major piece of legislation signed by Donald Trump. That does not happen often. […] One of the most important things in the NASA Authorization Act was a clear and unequivocal commitment that we are going to Mars. That passed the Senate 100 to nothing. It passed the House 435 to nothing. Every Democrat and every Republican on the same page saying man will go to Mars.”