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Space Shuttle OMM Transfer Represents Culmination of Multi-Year Effort by Rep. Weldon

Press Release From: Rep. Dave Weldon
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2002

WASHINGTON, DC-Yesterday's announcement by Florida Governor Jeb Bush and NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe was good news for Florida's Space Coast, but it also was a culmination of an effort spanning several years. After many years of concentrated lobbying efforts by U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Palm Bay), NASA was finally persuaded to transfer Space Shuttle maintenance work from Palmdale, California, to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Shortly after taking office in 1995, Rep. Weldon recognized the cost savings and operational efficiencies that would be realized by transferring Shuttle Orbiter Major Modification (OMM) operations from California to Florida. Over the next several years, only Rep. Weldon continued pleading the case for such a move to take place.

Unfortunately, the Clinton Administration opted to appease California rather than make a smart policy decision. However, in recent meetings with NASA Headquarters and the White House Office of Management and Budget, Rep. Weldon continued to make the case for transferring this work to Florida, and the Bush Administration ultimately recognized the cost savings and efficiencies gained by such a move. Rep. Weldon's position was also supported by numerous studies completed by NASA and its contractors.

"This announcement represents a victory for not just Florida, but for U.S. taxpayers," said Rep. Weldon. "This is yet another piece of solid evidence that the civil service and contractor space processing and launch team at Kennedy Space Center is the best in the world."

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