Portman Op-Ed in the Sandusky Register: “It’s Important That We Continue to Support NASA’s Critical Operations Here in Ohio”

August 26, 2019 | Portman Difference

Last week, Senator Portman accompanied NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a visit to NASA’s Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland and Plum Brook Station in Sandusky to view progress on the agency’s Artemis Program -- its multi-year plan to return American astronauts to the Moon and eventually send manned missions to Mars.

Portman has long fought to protect funding for the NASA Glenn Research Center.  In a Sandusky Register op-ed following his visit, Portman wrote: “For more than a century, Ohio has led the way in flight and space travel. Let’s build on that proud heritage as we prepare for mankind’s next great voyage to the stars.”

Excerpts of the op-ed can be found below, and the full op-ed can be found at this link.

Ohio Has Led The Way in Flight and Space Travel

By Senator Rob Portman

The Sandusky Register

August 25, 2019

Here in Ohio, we have a rich history of pushing the boundaries of flight. In fact, in 2003, Congress officially designated Ohio as the “Birthplace of Flight” thanks to the Wright brothers, who were born and raised in Dayton. It was in their Dayton bicycle shop more than a century ago that the miracle of human flight was conceived. From those humble beginnings onward, Ohio has never stopped leading the way in mankind’s journey to the skies and beyond.


In Northeast Ohio, the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and its Plum Brook Station Testing Facility in Sandusky are critical to NASA’s new projects. Right now, they are playing a leading role in the Artemis Program, NASA’s ambitious effort to put the first woman and the next man on the moon within the next five years. Alongside NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, I visited these facilities Wednesday to see the important work they’re doing to prepare for our return to the moon, as well as our eventual journey to Mars.

The engineers and researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center are developing the propulsion systems for Gateway, an outpost that will orbit the Moon and allow our astronauts unprecedented access to the lunar surface. In Sandusky, at Plum Brook, they are testing critical components of the rocket engines that are scheduled to carry Artemis astronauts into space starting next year. Both of these facilities possess testing capabilities that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, including the Vacuum Facility Solar Simulation Chambers at the Electric Propulsion and Power Laboratory at Glenn and the Hypersonic Wind Tunnel and Space Environments Complex at Plum Brook.

Plum Brook is bringing jobs and investment to Ohio in support of the private sector and other governments, as well. Today, they are working with the European Space Agency to provide the most advanced testing in the world to chart out the future of long-range space exploration. 


Ohio is unrivaled in aerospace. On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, I have proposed a new recognition of the historic accomplishments and distinguished career of one remarkable Ohio aerospace leader. Along with my colleague, Sherrod Brown, I will soon be introducing legislation that will rename the Plum Brook testing facility after Neil Armstrong.

For more than a century, Ohio has led the way in flight and space travel. Let’s build on that proud heritage as we prepare for mankind’s next great voyage to the stars.