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Press Releases :: June 4, 2008

Committee Approves NASA Authorization Act

(Washington, DC) – Today, the House Science and Technology Committee unanimously passed legislation to reauthorize NASA, H.R. 6063, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008. This legislation encompasses the recommendations and findings from 16 hearings the Committee held throughout the 110th Congress to review nearly every major aspect of NASA’s programs.

“NASA has a key role to play in the nation’s innovation agenda, ensuring the future health of our nation’s aviation system, and advancing our efforts to better understand our climate and the changes facing the Earth system,” said Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN). “In addition, a properly structured human space flight and exploration program can provide dividends technologically, scientifically, and geopolitically—and is worthy of the nation’s investment in it.”

H.R. 6063, introduced by Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Mark Udall (D-CO), authorizes appropriations for NASA’s activities – science, aeronautics, exploration, education, space operations, inspector general, cross-agency support programs – for Fiscal Year 2009. FY 2009 funding for NASA is $20.21 billion. This bipartisan legislation was originally cosponsored by the Science and Technology Committee’s Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN), Ranking Member Ralph Hall (R-TX), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tom Feeney (R-FL).

“H.R. 6063 will help point NASA towards a more productive and sustainable future,” stated Udall.  “NASA should be—and I believe is—an agency that can be a strong catalyst for dealing with important national concerns and this bill helps emphasize that.  Moreover, this legislation includes substantive measures to help realize the synergies achievable between government and the private sector.”

In addition to reiterating the basic principles adopted in previous NASA Authorization bill in 2005, the NASA Authorization Act of 2008 emphasizes the importance of aeronautics R&D, strengthening the exploration program, and NASA leadership in Earth science research and applications. 

“This is a common sense bill that’s good for NASA and for the nation as a whole,” added Subcommittee Vice Chairman and cosponsor Charlie Melancon (D-LA).

H.R. 6063 passed the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee on May 20. Today, H.R. 6063 passed the full Committee and was reported favorably with one amendment by Chairman Gordon. This legislation will be sent to the House floor for further consideration.

For more information about this markup, please visit the Committee’s website.

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