WASHINGTON – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Aeronautics and Related Sciences and Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) today pledged to introduce an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2008 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill to provide $1 billion in additional funding for NASA when the bill reaches the Senate floor.
The amendment will provide funds to reimburse NASA for the costs of returning to flight following the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and implementation of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board recommendations. The funds will help restore NASA's core scientific mission by providing support for research was cut to cover the cost of the return to flight.
"NASA did an exemplary job returning the Space Shuttle to flight and restoring America's leadership in space," Sen. Hutchison said. "This funding will support NASA's key science programs after necessary sacrifices were made to return to flight."
Congress passed a similar measure in 1986 that provided NASA funding following the Space Shuttle Challenger accident. The amendment introduced today appropriates $1 billion in Fiscal Year 2008 to a new "Return to Flight" account to reimburse NASA for the costs of returning to flight and to fund significant science, aeronautics and exploration programs that were cut to pay for repairs.