U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, the chairman of the Senate's Space, Science and Subcommittee, says that despite Saturday's loss of the shuttle Columbia and the seven astronauts on board, the space program must go on.
The subcommittee is scheduled to hold its first hearing on Thursday. Brownback says that instead of focusing on new technology and new missions as planned, it will focus on safety.
After the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew, the senator says he's approaching the hearing with a sense of grim responsibility. He says the government and NASA must do whatever it takes to keep astronauts safe and the Columbia tragedy proves that space travel is still very dangerous.