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Committee Democrats Comment on the National Space Transportation Policy

Press Release From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Democrats
Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013

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(Washington, DC) -Today, the President signed The National Space Transportation Policy, to "ensure that the United States stays on the cutting edge by maintaining space transportation capabilities that are innovative, reliable, efficient, competitive, and affordable, and that support U.S. interests." 

Subcommittee on Space Ranking Member Donna F. Edwards (D-MD) said, "I am pleased that there are many similarities between the NASA Authorization Act of 2013 bill I introduced in July and the updated National Space Transportation Policy President Obama signed today.  Adopting these shared priorities provides NASA substantive policy direction, including supporting human space transportation beyond low-Earth orbit through the development of a heavy-lift launch vehicle and crew capsule in support of eventual human exploration of Mars; encouraging the development of a NASA-certified U.S. commercial human spaceflight capability to support U.S. government crew transport to and from the International Space Station (ISS); and sustaining research, technology development, and exploration-related capabilities enabled by the ISS facility. In addition, my bill's recognition of the importance of NASA's research in remote satellite servicing mirrors the policy's call for R&D to improve the reliability and cost-effectiveness of current space transportation systems."             

Ranking Member Edwards also stated, "The Policy's emphasis on public-private partnerships underscores a point I made yesterday during a Subcommittee on Space hearing regarding the significant taxpayer investments and technology transfer that have enabled commercial space capabilities.  I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Committee to carry out the oversight that is required to monitor the Policy's implementation so that taxpayer interests and the Government's contributions are protected." 

Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said, "The United States has been a world leader in space transportation, and I want to work with the Administration to ensure that we maintain this capability that is so critical to our interests and to our leadership in space. With the retirement of the U.S. Space Shuttle Program, I have emphasized the need for the expeditious and effective development of a heavy-lift launch capability and crew capsule to reinvigorate our nation's space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and to serve as a back-up capability to transport our crew to and from the ISS.  I also want to reiterate my strong commitment to the safety of any U.S. space transportation capability, and I look forward to working with the Administration in ensuring that safety remains the highest priority in the implementation of the National Space Transportation Policy."   

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