AURA Applauds Senate Action on JWST

Press Release From: Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
Posted: Friday, September 16, 2011

September 16, 2011

Today, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) expressed strong support for the action announced by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science in providing funding for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The Senate proposal would enable JWST to be launched by 2018, at a minimum cost.

Under the bill which provides appropriations for FY2012, NASA would be funded at $17.9 billion, a reduction of $509 million or 2.8 percent from the FY2011 enacted level. Despite the required reduction in overall funding level, the bill addresses three high priorities for NASA including JWST, NASA's Space Launch System, and commercial space launch systems.

In reacting to the Senate action, Dr. William S. Smith, Jr, President of AURA, said "In this time of unprecedented fiscal challenges, it is especially gratifying that the Senate Subcommittee has established clear agency priorities for NASA and has provided the funding necessary to make these successful."

Dr. Dan Clemens of Boston University, Chairman of the AURA Board of Directors, said "The science community will greatly benefit from the strong bipartisan leadership shown by Senator Barbara Mikulski and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in providing the necessary funding for JWST with a minimum impact to other science programs within NASA."

Dr. Matt Mountain, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, expressed the gratitude of the US and International astronomy community. In reacting to the news from the Appropriations Subcommittee, Dr. Mountain said "As the successor of the Hubble Space Telescope, JWST has been the highest priority for the community over the past fifteen years and we look forward to the exciting scientific results it will provide."

William S. Smith, Jr., President
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy
1212 New York Ave. NW, Suite 450
Washington D.C. 20005
Ph. 202 483-2101

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