Press Release

Coalition for Space Exploration Comments on the Administration’s FY2016 NASA Budget

By SpaceRef Editor
February 2, 2015
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Coalition for Space Exploration Comments on the Administration’s FY2016 NASA Budget

With the release of the Administration’s FY2016 NASA budget request, the Coalition for Space Exploration (CSE) commends the efforts to maintain the overall funding level for NASA, but we are disappointed about the proposed reduction of our nation’s exploration programs as well as the level of out-year funding to achieve NASA’s mission to send the first astronauts to Mars.

NASA’s Journey to Mars mission has earned widespread public and bi-partisan support. In his State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted the “re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars.”

To make this vision a reality, we are calling on Congress to continue its bi-partisan commitment to providing appropriate budget resources for that journey to Mars, including cornerstones like the Space Launch System (SLS), the Orion spacecraft and their associated ground systems.

Orion and SLS are game-changing programs that will allow unprecedented deep space exploration. Orion is the first vehicle in history capable of taking humans to multiple destinations in deep space. The SLS will be the most powerful rocket in history, and will launch Orion and its supporting systems to explore asteroids, the Moon, and Mars. 

These programs are making outstanding progress and proving their value to America. In the past six months alone, both have demonstrated significant progress and hit major milestones:

SLS Booster Critical Design Review (August 7, 2014)

Opening of the Michoud Vertical Assembly Center, a 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide building that will used to build the core stage of the SLS. (Sept. 12, 2014)

Installation of World’s Largest Solid Rocket Motor Completed for March SLS Ground Test (Jan. 22, 2015)

Orion EFT-1 Flight Test Success (Dec. 5, 2014)

Upgraded RS-25 Rocket Engine Hot-fire Tests for SLS (Jan. 12, 2015)

Momentum is building with these programs. At this critical stage it is important to ensure that the significant progress already made on the development of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft can stay on track to support future test flights and crewed missions. 

As a nation, the U.S. has not sent crews beyond low Earth orbit since the last Apollo crew walked on the Moon in 1972. With Orion and SLS, America will once again have an exploration program worthy of a great nation.  We urge the Administration and Congress to work together to ensure NASA has the resources it needs to support these critical programs.

About the Coalition for Space Exploration

The Coalition for Space Exploration is a group of space industry businesses and organizations collaborating to ensure that the United States remains the leader in space exploration, science and technology.  By reinforcing the value and benefits of space exploration with the nation’s leaders, the Coalition intends to build lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for space exploration.

SpaceRef staff editor.