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Coalition for Deep Space Exploration Comments on House FY21 CJS Appropriations Bill

Press Release From: Coalition for Deep Space Exploration
Posted: Friday, July 31, 2020

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) welcomes passage of the House FY 2021 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill, which would fund NASA from October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021. The bill provides $22.6 billion for NASA, holding funding at the same level as 2020, which is noteworthy in the face of a continuing global pandemic. 
 
“The Coalition appreciates the continued leadership of Chairman Serrano, Ranking Member Alderholt, members of the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Committee, and the full House for their strong support of NASA in the FY 2021 bill, despite a challenging budget environment,” said Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, President and CEO of the Coalition. “We commend the committee’s work to prioritize the agency’s science and human exploration missions, providing resources for continued progress on these capabilities. The Coalition and its member companies applaud the continued bipartisan support to fund NASA and our space programs. In the midst of particularly challenging times, the United States continues to demonstrate our national commitment to lead and inspire in space.”

The bill, which was approved by the full House today following a vote out of the House Appropriations Committee on July 14, continues funding of Planetary Science, including NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance mission which launched this week, the Europa Clipper and Lander missions, Astrophysics missions like the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (formerly WFIRST), the PACE and CLARREO Pathfinder Earth Science Missions, and NASA’s STEM programs. 
 
The bill provides strong funding for both NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) at $2.6 billion, including $400 million for Exploration Upper Stage, and $1.4 billion for NASA’s deep space crew spacecraft Orion. However, the $459 million for Exploration Ground Systems – a $131 million decrease from last year – will create challenges for the hardware processing and launch schedule at Kennedy Space Center. 
 
The bill provides $628 million to continue development of Human Lander Systems (HLS); however, significant additional resources will be required to further advance this effort. This amount was included as part of a $1.557 billion mark for Exploration R&D, which includes Advanced Cislunar and Surface Capabilities, the lunar Gateway, Advanced Exploration Systems, and the Human Research Program. Nuclear thermal propulsion and solar electric propulsion are funded under Exploration Technology, which received $1.1 billion. These innovative capabilities will enable human exploration at the Moon, while supporting NASA’s development of the systems necessary for human missions to Mars. This bill also continues support for the International Space Station (ISS) – a critical testbed for deep space exploration systems and technologies - and its cargo and crew transportation services. 
 
About the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration
The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration is a national organization of more than 65 space industry businesses and universities focused on ensuring the United States remains a leader in space, science and technology. Based in Washington D.C., the Coalition engages in outreach and education reinforcing the value and benefits of human space exploration, space science and commerce with the public and our nation’s leaders, building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for our nation’s space program. 
 
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MEDIA CONTACT:
Lauren Quesada – Griffin Communications Group | (281) 744-7938 | Lauren@GriffinCG.com

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