(Aero-Space Technology) Senate Rpt.107-222 VA-HUD Appropriations Bill 2003

Status Report From: Senate Appropriations Committee
Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2002


Aero-Space Technology

NASA's Aerospace Technology Enterprise works to maintain U.S. preeminence in aerospace research and technology. The Enterprise aims to radically improve air travel, making it safer, faster, and quieter as well as more affordable, accessible, and environmentally sound. The Enterprise is also working to develop more affordable, reliable, and safe access to space; improve the way in which air and space vehicles are designed and built; and ensure new aerospace technologies are available to benefit the public.

The Committee is concerned about the status of aerospace technology within NASA's budget and emphasizes the important role that NASA plays in developing new aerospace technologies that are key to the continued development of such aircraft needs as long range aircraft, supersonic transports, global reach transports as well as cost-effective access to space. The Committee especially is interested in the viability of ``intelligent'' engine systems such as ``Propulsion 21'' which could build on current investments in the Ultra Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) and Quiet Aircraft Technology (QAT) because of the potential benefits to the U.S. aerospace industry.

However, the Committee recognizes that the budget will not permit the funding of all proposals or promising technologies. The Committee also believes that the development of aerospace technologies must be based in public/private partnerships guided by cost-sharing principles. Therefore, the Committee directs NASA to submit a report by August 30, 2003 on NASA's 5-year investment plan for aerospace technology including a list of technology goals and priorities, funding needs of these goals and priorities, the criteria used for selecting these priorities and goals, and the nature of the public-private partnership in reaching these priorities and goals.

The Committee makes the following adjustments to the budget request:

An increase of $3,000,000 for the Chesapeake Information Based Aeronautics Consortium based in partnership at Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

An increase of $3,000,000 for the Stennis Space Center for the development of a visitors center.

An increase of $1,000,000 for the Educational Training Center at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

An increase of $3,000,000 for the Alabama Science Center Alliance (Sci Quest) for the acquisition of addition ``immersive reality laboratories'' and networking capacity.

An increase of $2,000,000 for the University of Alabama in Huntsville to augment the UAH Propulsion Test Facility.

An increase of $750,000 for the National Institute for Aviation Research for icing aviation safety research in Kansas;

An increase of $1,500,000 for the Glenn Research Center for the Glennan Microsystems Initiative.

An increase of $1,000,000 for the Glenn Research Center for the Garrett Morgan Commercialization Initiative.

An increase of $7,000,000 to build on investments in the Ultra Efficient Engine Technology and Quiet Aircraft Technology by demonstrating related engine technology including low noise, active control of engine air flows and combustion processes, emissions and fuel reduction concepts and a ``virtual engine simulation'' capability.

An increase of $4,500,000 to for propulsion test complex upgrades at the Stennis Space Center. An increase of $2,000,000 for the National Technology Transfer Center at Wheeling Jesuit University.

Aviation .--The Committee has provided $541,400,000 for aviation programs, the same as the budget request. This includes funding for aviation safety, vehicle systems and airspace systems programs.

Advanced Space Transportation .--The Committee recommends $849,400,000 for advanced space transportation.

Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (SLI). --Within the amount provided for Advanced Space Transportation, the Committee provides $729,200,000 for development of the 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle, $30,000,000 below the budget request and $262,200,000 more than the fiscal year 2002 enacted level. The Committee supports the Space Launch Initiative as a necessary step towards finding a cost effective replacement for the Space Shuttle.

The Committee recognizes the Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) as a launch and recovery site for next generation launch vehicles and small commercial and scientific payloads. The Committee directs the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to utilize the WFF as a site for testing and demonstration of new launch vehicles and technology development. The Committee directs NASA to report to Congress by January 31, 2003 on how the MSFC will utilize Wallops as a testing and launch facility.

Revolutionary Technology .--The Committee has provided $274,900,000 for revolutionary technology development, the same as the budget request. Funding in this initiative includes computing, information and communications technology, engineering for complex systems and enabling concepts and technologies.

Commercial Technology .--The Committee recommends $146,900,000 for commercial technology development including commercial technology transfer and the Small Business Innovation Research Programs. This is the same amount as the budget request.

Aerospace Institutional Support .--The Committee recommends $973,200,000 for aerospace institutional support, the same as the budget request.

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