September 29, 2020

Senator Van Hollen, NASA Administrator Bridenstine, Maryland Space Leaders Discuss Maryland’s Vital Role in NASA

Van Hollen Vows To Keep Fighting to Support Maryland’s Space Efforts in Congress

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), joined by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and a number of leaders in Maryland’s space initiatives, hosted a virtual event to discuss Maryland’s vital role in NASA’s mission. During the event, the Senator and Administrator highlighted Maryland’s many contributions to NASA’s efforts, including the crucial work being done at NASA Goddard, the Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative, the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, the Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Lab, and the Space Telescope Science Institute – all of which are based in or near Maryland. Video of the event can be found here and a recording is available upon request.  

“Maryland is home to some of our nation’s finest science, technology, and space facilities. Today’s event gave us the opportunity to showcase Maryland’s essential role in furthering NASA’s mission and highlight the need for continued federal support of this crucial work. I thank Administrator Bridenstine for his leadership and, in my role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will keep fighting to invest in NASA’s missions in Maryland so that our state can continue to be at the forefront of advancing our understanding of the universe and our own planet Earth,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee. 

“Maryland has played an important role in our nation’s space program for decades, and with Senator Van Hollen’s leadership, those contributions will remain strong. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Wallops Flight Facility (in Virginia, but operates as part of Goddard) perform critical work for our agency, with programs there integral to our 2024 goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface with the Artemis program. NASA programs made a $7.5 billion economic impact in Maryland in 2019 with over 35,000 jobs in the state, and we expect that impact to grow in the coming years with bipartisan support from Congress,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.  

The Senator and Administrator were also joined in the discussion by Dennis Andrucyk, Director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; Niki Werkheiser, Lead of the Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative; David L. Pierce, Director of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility; Dr. Ralph Semmel, Director of Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory; and Dr. Kenneth Sembach, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute.