FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2017
COALITION FOR DEEP SPACE EXPLORATION ON APPROVAL OF THE SENATE FY 2018 COMMERCE-JUSTICE-SCIENCE APPROPRIATIONS BILL
WASHINGTON, DC – The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) commends the Senate 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 incudes funding for key NASA exploration programs in a challenging budget environment where overall spending allocations for the bill, including NASA, were reduced. The bill provides $19.5 billion for NASA overall, which is a reduction of $124 million below the current FY 2017 funding level, but is $437 million above the FY 2018 President’s Budget Request.
“The Coalition appreciates Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Shaheen’s leadership in supporting NASA’s human exploration and science programs in their FY 2018 bill,” said Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, the President and CEO of the Coalition. “The funding provided for NASA’s programs will continue America’s leadership in space, while strengthening our national aerospace industrial base through the work of suppliers across all 50 states that are contributing to these groundbreaking science and exploration missions.”
Within this allocation, the bill continues the full funding levels from FY 2017 for NASA’s deep space rocket, the Space Launch System ($2.15 billion), and crew spacecraft, Orion ($1.35 billion), while providing an increase for Exploration Ground Systems ($640.9 million) to support the launch of these systems for the upcoming Exploration Missions. The bill also provides $350 million for Exploration Research and Development to support in space propulsion, robotic lunar landers and deep space habitat development. Within this funding, the Committee provided $119.7 million for habitat development and the establishment of a habitat program office.
The Committee provided $5.571 billion for NASA’s Science portfolio, including funding for the James Webb Space Telescope ($533.7 million), the Wide-Field InfraRed Survey Telescope ($150 million) and the Double Asteroid Redirection Test ($66 million). It also provides $10 million to establish a new space weather research program in coordination with the Department of Defense and NOAA.
The bill would provide a small increase for Space Technology ($700 million) to support key exploration technologies that will enable human and scientific research beyond low Earth orbit, such as nuclear thermal propulsion systems ($75 million) and other technologies. It also includes continued funding for cargo and crew transportation services to the International Space Station, which provides an important platform for human exploration and science research in advance of upcoming Exploration Missions.
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.
Lauren Quesada – Griffin Communications Group