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Mikulski Includes $250 Million for Hubble in Federal Spending Bill

Press Release From: Sen. Mikulski
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2005

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Will ensure funding for servicing mission

Washington, D.C.- Senator Barbara A. Mikulski announced today that the Senate version of the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill includes $250 million for a Hubble servicing mission. Assuming that the shuttle safely returns to flight and that the NASA Administrator concludes that a shuttle mission is safe, this ensures that there is money in the federal checkbook for a Hubble servicing mission.

"Hubble is a national asset and a national priority. I have long said that Hubble is the greatest scientific instrument since Galileo's telescope," said Senator Mikulski. "That's why I wasn't going to let it die without a fight. I am proud to announce today that I have successfully fought in the Senate to put the money in the bank for a Hubble servicing mission."

The President's proposed budget included no funding for the Hubble Space Telescope, nor did the House of Representatives include funding in their NASA spending bill.

Senator Mikulski has a long record of standing up for the Hubble Telescope, tracing back its entire 15 year life. After NASA announced it was terminating the servicing mission that was needed to extend the life of the Hubble, Senator Mikulski requested a second opinion and a National Academy of Sciences study. Senator Mikulski added $300 million to last year's federal budget for a Hubble servicing mission.

In May, at the Senate hearing on this appropriations bill, Senator Mikulski said "Once again, I am going to fight for Hubble - moving heaven and earth to add another $250 million to NASA's budget for a servicing mission. Hubble is too important to the world and to our country."

In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the full Appropriations Committee on Thursday and then to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled. Following the Senate vote, the House and Senate will meet in Conference Committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Both Houses of Congress will vote on the conference bill. Once passed by the House and Senate, the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill will go to the President for his signature.

Senator Mikulski is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the senior Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee.

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