Cruz, Cornyn Urge Senate Appropriations Committee to Prioritize Funding for Johnson Space Center

HOUSTON, Texas – U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) despatched a letter urging management of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations and Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science to supply sturdy funding for the Nationwide Aeronautics and House Administration (NASA) and the Johnson House Middle (JSC) in Houston to assist tackle the strategic threats going through our nation from adversaries like China and Russia. The Senators additionally expressed their opposition to a proposed extraterrestrial sampling facility that may undermine JSC’s streamlined capacity to course of astromaterials and result in expensive delays that waste taxpayer {dollars}. 

They wrote: “As you develop the ultimate FY24 Commerce, Justice Science (CJS) appropriations invoice, we urge you to, at a minimal, present secure funding for science and area packages applied by NASA, particularly these packages involving human area exploration. On condition that area technological innovation is a crucial side of our ongoing strategic competitors with China and Russia, we might additionally encourage you to think about potential funding will increase in strategic areas of nationwide significance corresponding to human exploration and area operations.”

“We firmly consider that centralizing these actions at JSC promotes the optimum use of assets. The infrastructure and personnel out there at JSC have been fastidiously developed and refined over time to fulfill the distinctive challenges of dealing with extraterrestrial samples securely and effectively.”

“The ultimate FY24 CJS invoice ought to tackle all nationwide safety necessities, together with rising multi-domain threats posed by strategic rivals, corresponding to China and Russia, and should embrace sturdy funding for NASA and the important thing science and area exploration missions that it oversees.”

The complete textual content of the letter is right here and beneath.

August 28, 2023





The Honorable Patty Murray                               

Chair

U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations

The Capitol, Room S-128

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Susan Collins

Vice Chair

U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations The Capitol, Room S-146A

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen

Chair

Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science

U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations

Dirksen Senate Workplace Constructing, Room 133

Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Jerry Moran

Vice Chair

Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science

U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations Hart Senate Workplace Constructing, Room 125 Washington, DC 20510

Expensive Chair Murray, Vice Chair Collins, Chair Shaheen and Vice Chair Moran,

We write in sturdy help of strong funding for the Nationwide Aeronautics and House Administration (NASA) and the Johnson House Middle (JSC), to deal with the strategic threats and alternatives going through our nation. As you develop the ultimate FY24 Commerce, Justice Science (CJS) appropriations invoice, we urge you to, at a minimal, present secure funding for science and area packages applied by NASA, particularly these packages involving human area exploration. On condition that area technological innovation is a crucial side of our ongoing strategic competitors with China and Russia, we might additionally encourage you to think about potential funding will increase in strategic areas of nationwide significance corresponding to human exploration and area operations.

Located in Houston, Texas, JSC stands as NASA’s main heart for human spaceflight operations and analysis. Its pivotal function encompasses a broad vary of capabilities and actions devoted to advancing area exploration. On the coronary heart of JSC’s mission lies the preparation and coaching of astronauts for his or her ventures aboard the Worldwide House Station (ISS), and shortly the Gateway and lunar floor. Via rigorous simulations, extravehicular exercise rehearsals, and specialised process coaching, astronauts are geared up with the mandatory abilities to navigate the complexities of their missions. Furthermore, JSC’s Mission Management Middle performs a central function within the integration and administration of all NASA missions, offering essential communication between astronauts and floor management throughout spacewalks, scientific experiments, and unexpected contingencies.

Certainly one of JSC’s main obligations is spacecraft growth and testing for human spaceflight. Notably, it performs an important function within the growth of Orion, a spacecraft designed for future missions past Earth’s orbit, together with crewed missions to the Moon and Mars. Moreover, as a significant contributor to NASA’s Artemis program, JSC is instrumental in planning lunar missions, designing lunar landers and spacesuits, and conducting lunar science analysis. Moreover, the middle serves as a hub for cutting-edge analysis in microgravity, enabling scientists from around the globe to conduct experiments aboard the ISS, exploring basic scientific questions, expertise developments, and biomedical analysis. JSC’s contributions additionally lengthen to pioneering developments in robotics and synthetic intelligence to be used in spacecraft meeting, upkeep, and planetary exploration.

Of specific concern is the proposed extraterrestrial sampling facility language within the Senate FY 2024 CJS invoice that would doubtlessly undermine JSC’s function in astromaterials. Particularly, dedicating a brand new facility for sampling may disrupt the streamlined coordination and experience that at the moment exists throughout the Astromaterials Analysis and Exploration Science (ARES) Division at JSC. The dealing with and evaluation of extraterrestrial samples demand precision and collaboration, which have been meticulously honed throughout the current setup at JSC. Shifting these operations elsewhere dangers compromising this environment friendly synergy, resulting in expensive delays and redundancies in our scientific pursuits.

Furthermore, we firmly consider that centralizing these actions at JSC promotes the optimum use of assets. The infrastructure and personnel out there at JSC have been fastidiously developed and refined over time to fulfill the distinctive challenges of dealing with extraterrestrial samples securely and effectively. Organising a further facility exterior of this established setting would undoubtedly incur substantial monetary burdens with out providing any significant benefits in return.

Moreover, the success of the Mars Pattern Return mission depends closely on seamless coordination, stringent protocols, and experience in dealing with extraterrestrial samples. The ARES Division has been on the forefront of creating and refining the mandatory capabilities for this mission. Any diversion of assets, personnel, or infrastructure to a separate sample-receiving facility would inevitably introduce new challenges and will disrupt the intricate preparations for the Mars Pattern Return mission. To safeguard the importance and potential success of this mission, we urge you to keep up funding and infrastructure at JSC.

We consider that the ultimate FY24 CJS invoice ought to tackle all nationwide safety necessities, together with rising multi-domain threats posed by strategic rivals, corresponding to China and Russia, and should embrace sturdy funding for NASA and the important thing science and area exploration missions that it oversees. Thanks in your consideration to this matter. We’re hopeful that you’ll take our considerations into consideration throughout the convention of Home and Senate payments.

Sincerely,

/s/

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