Press Release

October 19, 2023
Bipartisan Maryland Congressional Delegation Talks Jobs and Innovation with Local Space Industry and Policy Leaders

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressmen Steny Hoyer (Md.-5), Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.-2), John Sarbanes (Md.-3), Andy Harris (Md.-1), Kweisi Mfume (Md.-7), Jamie Raskin (Md.-8) and Glenn Ivey (Md.-4) earlier this week in the U.S. Capitol with leadership of NASA Goddard, as well as Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), the Space Telescope Science Institute, and Relative Dynamics, representing other local stakeholders in the space industry. As Congress considers funding for the upcoming fiscal year (FY24), the lawmakers came together to hear firsthand about the Maryland space industry, federal space policy and how space-related projects taking shape in our state can have an impact on the daily lives of Marylanders and others nationwide.

According to NASA, in FY 2021, every NASA job located in Maryland supported an additional 10.8 jobs statewide. Every million dollars’ worth of economic output generated by NASA jobs sustained an additional $4.2 million worth of output across the state. 

“Today, we learned more about how the innovations discovered by Maryland’s space science and engineering industry are having direct impacts on the daily lives of Marylanders and others across the country,” said Senator Cardin. “The industry is at a crossroads and during the next two years, and over the longer term, Team Maryland will have to redouble its efforts to ensure that NASA funding is appropriately balanced to ensure that present and future programs and missions vital to Maryland and the nation can continue.” 

“Maryland’s leadership in space science is not only a key engine of our state’s economy, it also propels our nation’s innovation. That’s why we’re committed to investing in our space sector – and the talented scientists who power it – so we can keep leading the world in space discovery,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“From discovering distant worlds to helping us better understand our own, the work that NASA and their partners in academia and the private sector conduct here in Maryland is vital to deepening our knowledge of the universe and addressing pressing challenges like the climate crisis,” Congressman Hoyer said. “Congress ought to continue supporting this crucial work. As our meeting today reaffirmed, Team Maryland will do everything we can to ensure Goddard Flight Center and the many Maryland small businesses who support NASA’s Science Mission Directorate receive the resources they need.”

“Maryland is home to a unique and growing space industry that is helping the U.S. maintain its global competitiveness and national security, not to mention producing the satellites and drones that we all rely on each and every day,” said Congressman Ruppersberger. “The Maryland delegation is committed to federal policy that supports and strengthens the quality jobs and cutting-edge research generated by our space agencies and private-sector partners – starting with a budget that makes strong and strategic investments in them.”

“Maryland is a hub for aerospace innovation, including the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which calls the Third District home,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “This was an informative conversation with the Maryland Delegation and leaders in our state’s aerospace industry to discuss the need for continued support of APL’s missions – including the Dragonfly Mission to explore Titan, Saturn’s largest moon – and other federal priorities that will keep Maryland on the forefront of scientific discoveries and space exploration.” 

“Space exploration is a vital industry here in Maryland. It was a pleasure to participate in this roundtable and to hear about the recent advancements being made and how these technologies can be used to better the day-to-day lives of Marylanders,” Congressman Andy Harris said.

“I thank the leaders in the space industry that joined Team Maryland for today’s discussion. The Maryland space industry not only generates billions of dollars in economic activity and represents tens of thousands of jobs across the state, but also expands our understanding of our place in the universe,” said Congressman Mfume. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure NASA and its partners can continue their unique mission of exploration and discovery,” he added.

“Maryland’s thriving space science sector is integral to our state’s economic vitality and technological future,” said Congressman Raskin. “I’m grateful to the science, space and technology leaders who joined the meeting for keeping the Maryland delegation updated on the latest developments in space exploration. I look forward to working with our congressional delegation to secure NASA funding that ensures Maryland remains a leader in aerospace engineering and cosmic exploration.”

“The aerospace industry is important to Maryland and to my constituents in the 4th District.  Businesses from this sector coupled with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the proximity to Washington DC and institutions of higher learning like the University of Maryland, retaining resources for this important industry and facility are paramount.  I commend Senators Cardin, Van Hollen and my House colleagues for their leadership in fighting to keep aerospace a large part of Maryland’s technology mix,” said Congressman Ivey.