Rubio Visits Florida's Space Coast, Touts Industry's Innovations and Importance for National Security
Aug 19 2016
Kennedy Space Center, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today joined the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) for a roundtable discussion with entrepreneurs, engineers and leaders in the industry about advancing aerospace policy, promoting innovation, and furthering Florida’s leadership role in the exploration of space and America’s national security.
Last year, Rubio co-authored a bipartisan law to boost jobs in the commercial space industry, which will also help lead to more technological breakthroughs and successful private-public partnerships like the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket by NASA and SpaceX earlier this year.
A partial transcript of Rubio’s remarks following today’s EDC Aerospace Roundtable is below.
Kennedy Space Center
Exploration Park, FL
August 19, 2016
Senator Marco Rubio: “The space program plays an extraordinary role in our national security, not just in gathering intelligence, but virtually every one of our major new weapons systems is reliant upon technology that is space-oriented, from guidance of the weapons to the guidance of the aircraft to decisions being made on the ground. So the ability to continue to project superiority in space is critical to our national security.
“The second is the impact that it has on commercialization on many of the products that are innovative, to solve problems in the space program, end up being commercialized and used in our lives. And there just is an extraordinary list of products that came about as a result of innovation related to the space program which, of course, provides jobs and opportunity for American innovation and manufacturing. …
“In Florida, we have an excellent partnership with the state and to continue the position of Florida as the premier launch facility and all of the associated industries that will be created as a result of it. So we’re in a much better place today than we were five years ago in terms of the space industry. But the challenges remain, including competition with other states. And perhaps the single biggest challenge is the inability to pass an authorization for the NASA budget that will create the ability to do some long-term planning and contracting that’s so critical to success.”
Note: All photos can be credited to the office of U.S. Senator Marco Rubio.