Letter from Sen. Warner to Charles Bolden Regarding Open Competition for SLS Propulsion

Status Report From: United States Senate
Posted: Friday, July 1, 2011

June 10, 2011

The Honorable Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
National Aeronautics and Space Agency
Two Independence Square
200 E Street, SW, Room 9F44
Washington, DC 20546

Dear Administrator Bolden:

I am writing to encourage NASA to initiate a competitive bidding process for the propulsion component of the new Space Launch System (SLS).

I believe the greatest challenge we face as a nation is the need to balance our spending priorities with principles of fiscal discipline. Rather than consider a non-competitive sole-source contract, NASA should undertake a competitive bidding process to ensure billions of taxpayer dollars are spent in the most cost-effective and responsible manner possible. Furthermore, increased competition will encourage new, innovative technologies that can lead to lower costs and higher value for Americans in the long run.

It is clear the SLS will be a critical component of our national space program in the coming years. As we move forward with difficult and necessary budget decisions, it is essential for NASA to prove it takes seriously its responsibility to spend taxpayer dollars in a manner that is efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective.

I am confident we can work together to find a solution that is the best interest of both our national space program and the American taxpayer. I appreciate your consideration of my request and look forward to your prompt response.


Mark R. Warner
United States Senator

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