House Appropriations committee awards $2 billion in funding for NASA’s Space Launch System, other programs to benefit too

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, the House Appropriations committee approved a record $2 billion in funding for NASA’s Space Launch System.

In addition to the SLS funding, the House 2017 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill also includes $1.35 billion for the Orion crew capsule.

“[The capsule] will take American astronauts to space, back to the Moon and on to Mars,” said Congressman Robert Aderholt, who represents Alabama’s __th District. “If America is not a trailblazer in science and exploration, then we will no doubt fall behind other countries.  Our country should never surrender the spirit of Lewis and Clark, the Wright brothers, Earhart or Armstrong.”

Rep. Aderholt is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and said it’s a top priority for him to make sure NASA’s needs are met and the agency has a stable footing heading into the next Presidential Administration.

“This bill also provides at my request funding for three significant programs within the Space Technology Directorate: nuclear thermal propulsion, which will be a significant part of exploration beyond the Moon; additive manufacturing, which will make many contributions to advanced components for exploration; and small launch vehicle development, which will meet a rapidly growing need for payloads which are important yet too small to warrant the cost of our current launch vehicles.

“The bill also continues support across the board for education programs such as the Space Grant program at the full 40 million dollars requested by myself and other members, and it provides the Science Directorate with the fastest, biggest rocket (SLS) for major robotic exploration missions such as the two upcoming missions to Europa, a moon of Jupiter,” said Aderholt.

The CJS bill also includes $20 million in funding for Victims of Child Abuse programs.

“I know that this funding will help programs like the National Children’s Advocacy Center, located in Huntsville, Alabama, and other similar programs that help these most vulnerable children.  The NCAC was founded by my former colleague Bud Cramer in 1985 when he was a District Attorney,” said Aderholt.

Additionally, the CJS bill includes funding to fight the opioid epidemic in Alabama and other states, and methamphetamine clean-up programs.

The CJS bill will now proceed to the full House for a vote.  No vote is scheduled yet.