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Sen. Cochran supports funding for science and technology in state

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today supported committee approval of a FY2017 funding bill that will provide for enhanced science and technology research and development throughout Mississippi.

This is a press release from Senator Thad Cochran’s office

The FY2017 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act, which was approved on a bipartisan 30-0 vote, contains funding important for continued NASA rocket engine testing at the Stennis Space Center, an additional research vessel for the Gulf Coast, and increased research and testing of unmanned aircraft systems.

“Mississippi is well-positioned to continue its leadership in cutting-edge research.  From the Stennis Space Center to our universities, Mississippians are making important contributions to developing technologies that benefit the entire nation,” Cochran said.  “I’m pleased that this appropriations bill will increase the federal government’s support of these important programs.”

The FY2017 CJS Appropriations Bill is now available for consideration before the full Senate.  The bill provides funding for NASA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, which includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Justice, the National Science Foundation, and other related agencies.

Items of interest to Mississippi include:

Space Launch System – $2.15 billion, $920 million more than the budget request, for the Space Launch System.  The total amount provided will allow all facets of the launch vehicle to maintain their schedule for its upcoming launch.  Within this program, main engine testing for the Space Launch System remains ongoing at the A-1 test stand at the Stennis Space Center and will eventually utilize the refurbished B-2 test stand.

Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle – $1.3 billion, $247 million more than the budget request, for the crewed vehicle that will be launched with the Space Launch System.

Unmanned Aerial Research – $5 million for NASA to conduct further aeronautics research at six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) six test sites in collaboration with the FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence, which is led by Mississippi State University.

Regional Class Research Vessels — $159 million, an increase of $53 million over the budget request, for the design and construction of three Regional Class Research Vessels.  The budget request included funding for two vessels.  A third ship will allow the National Science Foundation to dedicate a research vessel for the Gulf of Mexico

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