Press Release

Coalition for Deep Space Exploration Statement on Approval of FY 2018 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Bill

By SpaceRef Editor
July 14, 2017
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The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) applauds the House Appropriations Committee’s approval of the FY 2018 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which would fund NASA from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. The bill includes an increase of $218.5 million above the current FY 2017 funding levels for NASA, and is $771.8 million above the FY 2018 Budget Request. This increase for NASA is noteworthy given that the overall allocation for the House CJS bill was reduced by $2.6 billion for FY 2018.
“The Coalition appreciates the continued leadership of Chairman Culberson, Ranking Member Serrano and the members of the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee for their strong support for NASA in the FY 2018 bill,” said Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO of the Coalition. “Despite a challenging budget environment, the Committee has prioritized NASA, especially its science and human exploration missions, to provide the resources necessary to enable continued progress on these important capabilities.”
The bill, which was approved by the full House Appropriations Committee yesterday following subcommittee markup on June 28, continues the growth in NASA’s topline funding level, which has increased by nearly $2 billion since FY 2015. Within this increase for FY 2018, the Committee has prioritized funding of Planetary Science, including the Mars 2020 and Europa Clipper and Lander missions, and Astrophysics missions like the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). It also provided the critical funding for NASA’s new exploration rocket, the Space Launch System, deep space crew spacecraft, Orion, and Exploration Ground Systems as work continues toward the launch of Exploration Mission-1, Exploration Mission-2 and the Europa Clipper mission over the next several years.
Notably, the bill also continues to increase funding for key exploration capabilities, such as in-space propulsion, deep space habitats, robotic Lunar Lander demonstration missions and in-space manufacturing funded in NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) and Space Technology accounts.  These innovative capabilities will enable human exploration around the Moon on upcoming SLS-Orion missions and continue to support NASA’s development of the systems necessary for human missions to Mars.
The Committee Report also includes new direction to NASA to develop a conceptual roadmap for an interstellar mission by 2069, the 100th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, by identifying key technology areas necessary to enable such a mission.
The bill also continues support for the International Space Station and its cargo and crew transportation services, as well as maintaining funding for NASA’s education programs.
The Senate CJS Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to markup its bill later this month, and the Congress may consider approval of these bills in either chamber, or as part of a package or appropriations bills prior to the end of the current fiscal year. 
About the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration is a national organization of more than 70 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 human space exploration and space science with the public and our nation’s leaders, building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for our nation’s space program.

SpaceRef staff editor.