WEATHERFORD, TX – Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), the Republican Leader of the House Appropriations Committee, issued this statement today following a visit by NASA astronaut Dr. Jeanette J. Epps to Weatherford High School, in Weatherford, Texas.

“This week, I was honored to bring NASA astronaut Dr. Epps to Weatherford High School to speak with nearly 500 high school seniors. Our students are the future of America and our great nation’s space program. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education provides the foundation for careers of tomorrow, and I was proud to promote these STEM programs, especially for women, at today’s event.

"Both Dr. Epps and I are focused on championing the Artemis program, NASA’s effort to land the first woman on the moon by 2024. As a former teacher, I know that public schools like Weatherford High play an integral role in shaping the leaders of tomorrow, and I am confident that NASA’s Artemis program will encourage more women to pursue STEM careers.

"NASA’s efforts are not only providing opportunities for our graduating seniors, they are also directly related to our national defense. The Artemis program provides a chance for the United States to clearly assert her position as the world leader in space. The Chinese have continued to develop a world-class space exploration capability in an attempt to rival our own space program. China is now enjoying more successful space launches per year than the U.S., and their research and development for space-related technologies continues to rapidly accelerate.

"I am proud to know that Texas students, as well as the state’s space and aviation industry, are well positioned to not only support NASA’s objectives, but also absorb and benefit from the additional space-related research, development, and production work coming our way. The North Texas economy and area Texans are playing a vital role in our nation’s future in space. Our district is a place of education, opportunity, and innovation, and I know that America will dominate space, by way of Texas.”