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Sat, Jul 17, 2010

CSF Praises NASA Funding Legislation, But Says Bill 'Must Be Improved'

Funding Provided For Commercial Crew, But Augustine Commission Goals Not Met

Following Thursday's executive session of the Senate Commerce Committee, the President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Bretton Alexander, stated, "Thanks to Senators Warner, Boxer, Udall, and Brownback, American industry won a victory today.  But this legislation must be improved so that we create more sustainable American jobs, instead of exporting jobs to Russia.  This compromise committee bill represents progress from the original draft, but there is still a long way to go to get to where the Augustine Committee said NASA needs to be."

"We strongly supported Senator Warner's proposed amendment to increase funding for, and remove needless restrictions on the development of, commercial crew and cargo.  We greatly appreciate all that Senator Warner did to promote commercial spaceflight and help the United States regain its human spaceflight capability quickly."  Alexander added, "Senator Boxer's leadership has also been pivotal in securing improvements to the bill."

Alexander (pictured) continued, "The Senate committee's recognition that commercial systems, not government systems, will be the primary means of crew transportation to the International Space Station represents a milestone for our industry.  Instead of spending money to purchase seats on Russian launch vehicles, the commercial industry will create jobs and critical technological capabilities here in America through investment in commercial spaceflight.  I would also note that Senator Nelson has stated that he intends to fund commercial crew fully over the envisioned six-year timeframe for the program.  Moving forward, a firm Congressional commitment to commercial spaceflight will be critical to enable industry to accelerate its rate of hiring and job creation."

Alexander also applauded Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, saying, "The Senate Committee also adopted Senator Udall's amendment specifying funding and support for NASA's innovative Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research (CRuSR) Program, which will enable university students and researchers to fly science payloads aboard new low-cost commercial suborbital vehicles whose development is well underway."

FMI: www.commercialspaceflight.org

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