Mayor Parker invites Obama to tour JSC

HOUSTON Her invite is part of the ongoing efforts to convince the Obama Administration to reconsider its proposal to end the Constellation manned space flight program. Without Constellation, the mayor's office says the Houston area stands to lose anywhere from 4,000 to 7,000 high-tech jobs. The impact to the region is estimated to be $560 million.

In her latest letter to the president, Mayor Parker wrote, "I know you recognize the personnel who work directly or indirectly with JSC are a highly talented group, but nothing compares to meeting these brilliant individuals where their incredible work is done. You will not leave JSC and the Clear Lake area without being impressed with their skill-set and contribution to national security and technological advancement."

Despite last week's meetings with top officials such as NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, the mayor left Washington "still very concerned with the new and untested direction of the American human space exploration program being proposed" in the NASA budget.

Mayor Parker believes the Constellation program would help the JSC workforce transition effectively as the space shuttle is retired from active service once the International Space Station is completed next year.

President Obama is scheduled to visit Florida's Kennedy Space Center next month and the mayor believes a visit to JSC is imperative if the president is to get a full understanding of the impact of his proposal.

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