Talking Space with Don Beyer

Good morning. It’s a busy week on Capitol Hill, but I’m in sunny Arizona for a few days. (We hope you’re also enjoying dinosaur bucket hat season.)

Spacing Out With Rep. Don Beyer

Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer, who chairs the House subcommittee that handles space, kindly agreed to a Q&A with The Dispatch about the latest in space and where it intersects with Congress. The transcript that follows has been edited for length and clarity. (Special thanks to senior space editor Eric Berger at Ars Technica and space expert Rand Simberg for suggesting a few of the questions I asked Beyer.)

Haley: I watched some of last week’s hearing on the Artemis program to return to the moon. You mentioned that it’s important for you, when you’re talking to constituents or talking to appropriators, to be able to have a clear narrative about the goals and plans behind Artemis. 

Rep. Beyer: I get some of this from my wife. I consider her everyman in this sense, where she rebels against the idea that the billionaires are what we know about space, the vanity trips. And I say, “No, there’s incredibly important science, there’s the moon-to-Mars, that Artemis is not only helping us understand how physics and biology and chemistry work, but also satisfying the human aspiration for exploration.” But we’ve got to get that story. Because when we’re spending $21 billion-plus in the current budget, we’d better be able to defend it. 

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