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The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration Applauds House NASA Funding Bill

Press Release From: Coalition for Deep Space Exploration
Posted: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) applauds House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee (CJS) Chairman John Culberson, Ranking Member Mike Honda and the entire Appropriations Committee for its exceptional support for NASA’s human and science exploration programs in its FY 2017 Appropriations bill, which boosts NASA funding to $19.5 billion. Like their counterparts in the Senate, the CJS Subcommittee has worked across the aisle to produce a bipartisan bill that ensures our space program receives the necessary funding to continue America’s leadership in space.

The bill, which was approved by the full Appropriations Committee today, provides more than $200 million increase to NASA above the FY 2016 Omnibus. This builds on a significant boost to NASA’s topline budget relative to recent years. The FY17 bill continues the bipartisan commitment to America’s exploration programs, adding more than $1 billion in discretionary spending. This level of funding supports a balanced portfolio for NASA’s exploration and science missions, including the International Space Station, transportation services in low Earth orbit, and space science, as well as providing support for aeronautics and technology development.

The Coalition applauds the bill’s commitment to exploration science missions, including continued funding and direction for an orbiter and lander to explore Europa. The bill provides $5,597 for science programs overall, with a significant increase for Planetary Science programs, including the Mars 2020 rover. It also provides the requested level for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is undergoing final assembly and testing in preparation for its launch, also in 2018. JWST enables scientific exploration of some of the most distant objects in the Universe, heralding a new era in astronomy and cosmology.

We are also pleased that the Committee prioritized funding for NASA’s exploration crew spacecraft, Orion, at $1.35 billion and its next generation exploration rocket the Space Launch System, at $2 billion (including $250 million for the Exploration Upper Stage for crewed missions in 2021 and beyond). These systems are the core elements of America’s Journey to Mars in the decades ahead. The bill also contains a funding increase for NASA’s deep space habitat development, as well as strong language supporting the upcoming Exploration Missions. However, the Coalition notes the need for additional funding for Exploration Ground Systems, like the levels provided in the Senate bill, to ensure that ground infrastructure is ready for the 2018 and 2021 launches of Orion and SLS.

The Coalition appreciates the tremendous commitment to NASA in the FY 2017 CJS Appropriations bill, which continues the investments necessary to ensure American leadership in space in the 21st Century as our space program returns to the Moon along the Journey to Mars.

About the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration is a national organization of space industry businesses and advocacy groups focused on ensuring the United States remains a leader in space, science and technology. Based in Washington D.C., the Coalition engages in outreach and education reinforcing the value and benefits of space exploration with the public and our nation’s leaders, building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for space exploration.

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