Washington, D.C. – In response to an announcement this afternoon that NASA’s Kepler satellite discovered three new planets that could be habitable, Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released the following statement.

Chairman Smith: “I am always humbled by discoveries that indicate the existence of many more Earth-like planets than we ever imagined. But when top scientists say that newly discovered planets are ‘by far’ the best candidates for life, it sparks a feeling of wonder and curiosity.

“Since launched in 2009, NASA’s Kepler mission has continually shown that we still have a lot to learn about our stellar neighbors.  We all grew up being taught that Earth’s size and distance to the sun was unique, but that does not appear to be the case.  I congratulate the NASA scientists on their discovery and will continue to support NASA Planetary Science.”