|Ed believes Americans in our DNA are explorers and space exploration fuels American innovation and Americans' desire to explore the universe. Ed joined the Science, Space and Technology Committee in January 2015 so he could advocate for important Colorado priorities including our aerospace industry, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), STEM education, weather research and forecasting, and research universities across Colorado.
In addition, Ed continues to promote energy independence to help unleash American technological innovation to create jobs and strengthen our national security. America needs to responsibly develop and maximize traditional fossil fuel resources while incentivizing and investing in clean, renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and bioenergy. Ed is working to reduce the serious threat of climate change by promoting and incentivizing energy efficiency measures and decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels through efforts such as the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Clean Power Plan. Ed has also worked to support funding for the National Renewable Energy Lab and its cutting-edge technology and research that continues to provide alternative ways to fuel our country.
Ed believes NASA’s Mars mission is the next frontier for our deep space exploration and he is committed to securing a long-term plan from NASA to ensure it has the funding and resources necessary to land humans on Mars in 2033. In 2033, Earth and Mars will be close enough where it will only take a year-and-a-half round trip to reach Mars instead of the normal journey of two or three years. A shorter mission like this reduces technological barriers and reduces risks for our astronauts should something go wrong. Colorado is leading development of the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle which will transport our astronauts to Mars, and Colorado has dozens of aerospace companies and research institutions which will help us along our Journey to Mars.
Commercial Crew & Cargo
Ed wants to ensure Congress continues funding NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo missions. These programs are an example of what we can accomplish when NASA partners with private industry to deliver needed capabilities. Development of these Low Earth Orbit (LEO) vehicles are helping us supply the International Space Station (ISS) and will soon allow the launch of American astronauts from American soil once again. These capabilities are needed now for the ISS, but also encourage further utilization of LEO by commercial industry while NASA focuses on deep space exploration to Mars and beyond. Ed is also excited to see Colorado's Dream Chaser cargo vehicle deliver supplies to the ISS soon.
Weather Research and Forecasting
Colorado is one of the leading states in weather forecasting and new research and technologies. Ed is a strong supporter of weather resources in the state including the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) facilities. These assets work with researchers at Colorado universities to improve weather forecasting and develop new sensors to gather data and enhance our weather models. Additionally, Colorado is helping build our next generation weather satellites including GOES and JPSS. Through the data from these NOAA satellites and the incorporation of new commercially available weather data, we can better predict severe weather and increase warning time for communities in Colorado and across the country.
Ed is also working through the Science Committee to improve our understanding and prediction of space weather which occurs when the Sun emits strong magnetic fields or other radiation. Space weather can impact all types of infrastructure on Earth including modern technology, our power grids, and airline travel. In orbit, space weather can also be harmful to astronauts aboard the ISS or satellites we rely on for our national security, weather prediction, or communication. Ed introduced the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act to help coordinate federal agency responsibilities and encourage continued collaboration between government, industry, and academia to best prepare our nation for space weather events.