09.30.20

Gardner Questions NASA Administrator About the Chinese Threat to Domestic Space Programs

“Our space programs are the envy of the world and are attracting the interest of bad actors, like the Chinese government, who want to steal our ingenuity.”

Washington, D.C. – Today at a hearing held by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) questioned National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Jim Bridenstine about the Chinese threat to the United States’ domestic space programs related to his amendments to S. 2800, the NASA Authorization Act of 2019, which aim to bolster transparency and protect U.S. information and technology from the Chinese Communist Party.

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NOTE: Click here or the picture above to download Senator Gardner’s remarks.

“I believe it’s absolutely imperative we preserve America’s leadership in innovation and science. Particularly in space, we know our adversaries are working diligently to undermine our interests and leadership,” said Senator Gardner. “Our space programs are the envy of the world and are attracting the interest of bad actors, like the Chinese government, who want to steal our ingenuity.”

During Gardner’s questioning, Administrator Bridenstine acknowledged “there is no question” that China has a long history of stealing America’s intellectual property and agreed with Gardnerthat there are economic and national security concerns with potential Chinese interests seeking to invest in U.S. aerospace companies. 

Gardner’s amendments to S. 2800, the NASA Authorization Act of 2019, are aimed at bolstering transparency and ensuring consideration of the implications of contracting with entities that receive financial assistance or are affiliated with China, and were approved without opposition during the Committee’s consideration of the legislation in November 2019.

Gardner’s amendments included in the NASA Authorization Act:

  • Require a review by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) of contracts with entities associated with the People’s Republic of China.
  • Seek to ensure the NASA Administrator considers the implications of contracting with entities that receive financial assistance from or are affiliated with the People’s Republic of China.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.