Senator Hutchison to Work with Colleagues to Restore NASA Human Exploration Funding

Space Launch System and Orion capsule budgets reduced despite repeated assurances from White House

February 14, 2012

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today made the following statement regarding the White House’s proposed budget for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion crew vehicle:

“Despite repeated assurances from NASA and White House officials that the SLS and Orion are ‘key elements of our future strategy for human space exploration’, vehicle development for the heavy lift SLS rocket and the Orion capsule is cut by hundreds of millions of dollars. These reductions will slow the development of the SLS and the Orion crew vehicle, making it impossible for them to provide backup capability for supporting the space station. The Administration remains insistent on cutting SLS and Orion to pay for commercial crew rather than accommodating both.

“I will once again work with my colleagues in the Congress to ensure NASA receives the funding, consistent with law passed by Congress and signed by the President, needed to preserve our leadership in space and open the doors to future exploration and missions of discovery.”