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National Space Society Applauds the Passing of NASA Appropriations Bill for FY2012

(Washington, DC -- November 18, 2011)

The NASA Appropriations Bill for FY 2012 calling for $17.8 billion in funding was passed by both houses of Congress on November 17, 2011 and signed by the President on November 18, 2011. The enrolled text of the bill can be found here

Key elements of the legislation include continued funding for the James Webb Space Telescope with a cap set on the total funds that are allowable for formulation and development, funding for a beyond Earth orbit multipurpose crew vehicle, funding for a heavy lift launch vehicle system which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously, funding for a range of exploration research and development activities, as well as funding for commercial spaceflight activities.  Given the austere fiscal climate and the political conflicts of the moment, the passage of an appropriations bill for NASA at this level of funding is an extraordinary testament to efforts of the Senators and Congresspersons involved to get our nation back on track with space.

The National Space Society delivered petitions on behalf of our members to eighty-three Senators, and eight hundred and eighty-seven individual petitions were delivered to members of the House of Representatives. The petitions read as follows . . .  

Dear {Congressperson/Senator}

I believe strongly in the importance of space exploration for our Nation and ask that you do ALL you can to push forward a strong space program — for our country’s future.

I urge you to continue to fund the James Webb Space Telescope; to provide a reasonable budget to build new mission-enabling, sustainable and affordable-to-use beyond Earth orbit launch systems; and support critical funding for acceleration of commercial cargo and crew launch systems. WE MUST GET OUR NATION BACK ON TRACK WITH SPACE.

Thank you for your support.

While the allocation of funding may not fit any individual or group's model of what it is best, it may yet frame the basis for a sustainable confluence of interests. We want and need a space program with a range of science initiatives that are supported through their entire lifecycle; we want and need to build new mission-enabling, sustainable and affordable-to-use beyond Earth orbit launch systems; and we want and need to accelerate commercial cargo and crew launch systems capabilities. How we do each of these things is the challenge now on the table. If we make the driving requirements stick, it will transform what is actually done in each of these areas.  

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Updated Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 19:14:06
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