Status Report

Letter from NASA Administrator Griffin to House Science Committee Chair Boehlert regarding a proposed amendment to the Iran Nonproliferation Act

By SpaceRef Editor
July 14, 2005
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National Aeronautics and

Space Administration

Office of the Administrator

Washington, DC 20546-0001

July 14, 2005

The Honorable Sherwood Boehlert, Chairman, Committee on Science, House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Chairman:

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) applauds your leadership and that of subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert in introducing H.R. 3070, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005, and in guiding it through a successful markup by the subcommittee. Thank you for including several NASA legislative requests in this legislation. Last night, NASA received an amendment in the nature of a substitute that the Committee plans to consider at today’s Full Committee markup of H.R. 3070. Since there are substantial changes to the original bill in this amendment, NASA will provide additional comments on the legislation after Full Committee markup.

However, I would like to re-iterate a high-priority request for you to consider at today’s full Committee mark-up. On behalf of the Administration, NASA recently submitted to Congress a proposed amendment to the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 (INA) (P.L. 106-178) to be added to NASA authorization legislation or another appropriate legislative vehicle. The proposed amendment presents a balanced approach which first and foremost maintains U.S. nonproliferation principles and objectives, while also maintaining the cooperative U.S.-Russia space partnership.

Beginning in April 2006, INA restrictions could prevent the U.S. from maintaining U.S. crew members of the International Space Station except during brief Space Shuttle visits. INA restrictions will affect NASA’s ability to meet U.S. obligations to the International Space Station Partners under existing Station agreements, including crew rescue capability. INA restrictions could also prevent the U.S. from effective use of Russian capabilities in support of human space exploration. Removing the restriction on payments related to human space flight will enable the U.S. to take advantage of unique Russian capabilities and provide parity between NASA and DoD in acquiring Russian capabilities. U.S.-Russia space cooperation is an area of the overall U.S.-Russia relationship that has had marked success and should be preserved. NASA strongly urges enactment of this amendment.

I hope you will consider this request during full Committee mark-up of H.R. 3070 today. Thank you for your help on this important matter.



Michael D. Griffin


SpaceRef staff editor.