Election Sends Three NASA Supporters Packing

Astronauts to Vote From Space Station
Expedition 18 commander Michael Fincke (right) and flight engineer Greg Chamitoff encourage Americans to vote in a NASA video recorded aboard the International Space Station. The two astronauts are the fifth and sixth Americans to vote from space. (Image credit: NASA TV.)

WASHINGTON -The House Science Committee lost three strong NASA supporters Nov. 4 when U.S.voters elected a new Congress and chose Democrat Barack Obama as the nextpresident.

Reps. NickLampson (D-Texas) and Tom Feeney (R-Fla.) lost their re-electionbids to well-funded challengers. Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), the chairman ofthe House Science space and aeronautics subcommittee, won his bid to representColorado in the U.S. Senate.

Voters inBoulder, Colo., home to Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., the Universityof Colorado's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and the NationalWeather Service's Space Weather Prediction Center, chose Democrat Jared Polis,a technology entrepreneur and philanthropist, to replace Udall in the House.

Lampson,who was runningfor re-election in former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's heavilyRepublican district, had been in line to succeed Udall as the space andaeronautics subcommittee chairman.

Republican PeteOlson defeated Lampson with 53 percent of the vote, according to the overnighttally. Texas voters re-elected three other prominent NASA supporters:Republican Reps. John Culberson and Ralph Hall and Democratic Rep. SheilaJackson Lee.

In Florida,Feeney lost his re-election bid to Democrat Suzanne Kosmas, a four-term memberof the Florida House of Representatives who hit the Kennedy Space Center-areacongressman on his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Republicans heldonto the seat being vacated by Rep. Dave Weldon, a dogged NASA supporter who isretiring from Congress after serving 14 years. Bill Posey, a Florida statesenator, will join Kosmos in Washington to represent Brevard County and its thousandsof KennedySpace Center employees.


Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Editor-in-Chief, SpaceNews

Brian Berger is the Editor-in-Chief of SpaceNews, a bi-weekly space industry news magazine, and SpaceNews.com. He joined SpaceNews covering NASA in 1998 and was named Senior Staff Writer in 2004 before becoming Deputy Editor in 2008. Brian's reporting on NASA's 2003 Columbia space shuttle accident and received the Communications Award from the National Space Club Huntsville Chapter in 2019. Brian received a bachelor's degree in magazine production and editing from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.