Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:52 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:52:16 GMT
The former Director of Marshall Space Flight Center was back in Huntsville Wednesday to take a look at a piece of hardware that could play an important role in the future of space exploration. Robert LightfootMore >>
The former director of Marshall Center stopped by to check on the progress made in an important project.More >>
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - At a ribbon cutting Monday morning, Senator Richard Shelby takes time out to joke with Marshall Center acting director Robert Lightfoot.
"This is the future right here. It looks like it's not going anywhere but it is going somewhere, a long way and we gotta build it," Senator Shelby said.
Senator Shelby was in Huntsville to celebrate a new green building on Marshall's campus.
While it may be a celebration, many who work in the space industry fear the future. The NASA budget is still in the works.
"I will do everything I can to make sure Marshall is properly funded in the scheme of the whole NASA situation. But we have not marked up yet," said Senator Shelby.
It's funding that will determine America's role in space, and a mission with roots right here in North Alabama.
"You know, there is always the fight to fund NASA. To fund different programs within NASA. A lot of people have other ideas of where the money ought to go, other than to NASA proper, to particular science programs. There's always a fight in the Congress and then we would have differences when we pass the Senate version of the funding of NASA with the House version, which they've already come out and cut a good bit of money, you know out of the program," Senator Shelby said.
Shelby also touches on Charles Bolden, President Obama's pick to run NASA.
"What I have read about him, he sounds well qualified and so forth. But I will have a chance to meet with him and talk to him about his vision of NASA. The role Marshall will play and so forth. I haven't got there yet. It's early in the stages," said Senator Shelby.