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Getting Back to Space: Palazzo’s Bill Gives Money to NASA and Requires Them to Plan for Exploration

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Being first at space exploration has historically been a matter of national pride and national security. With a bill introduced by Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), NASA would be required to show a roadmap for future space exploration, and at the same time continue plans for our own access to the International Space Station.

Tuesday the U.S. House passed Palazzo’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2015. It continues some of the key provisions of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, such as the  Space Launch System and Orion crew capsule.

The bill also reaffirms Stennis Space Center in Mississippi as a key research facility by continuing to provide federal dollars.

“In a time of partisanship on Capitol Hill, both Republicans and Democrats came together to craft legislation that moves beyond congressional districts and parochial interests. We are committed to once more launching American astronauts, on American rockets, from American soil.

“This bill provides clear and consistent guidance to NASA.  It requires the agency to develop an exploration roadmap and provides a framework to build an executable plan for future exploration efforts.  NASA must use this plan to find the most efficient and effective ways to build technologies and capabilities within constrained budgets.

“As the old saying goes, “if you want to go to the moon, you first have to go through Mississippi,” and more specifically, Stennis Space Center, where engine tests have been successfully facilitated since the 1960’s.  The bill passed today continues to invest in Stennis and ensure its continued viability as a NASA testing center for many years to come. ”

The bill, which must get Senate approval, also requires transparency from NASA while they develop their plans and systems.

Palazzo is the House Space Subcommittee chair.

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