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AIA’s Vice President for Space, Frank Slazer told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Science and Justice that the president’s fiscal year 2013 budget request represents the bare minimum for NASA’s most critical programs.
In his testimony Slazer said, ”AIA believes the fiscal year 2013 appropriation should adequately fund all of the important programs included in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010.” Among these programs are the space launch system, the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, the International Space Station, commercial crew and cargo transportation systems and the James Webb space telescope.
“Bringing the SLS and Orion MPCV online will keep U.S. human spaceflight on track towards new frontiers for the first time in over three decades,” said Slazer. “AIA supports the continued development of new American human spaceflight systems to support the International Space Station - ending the flow of millions of dollars to Russia, while simultaneously having the potential to open new markets.”
Slazer also highlighted the importance of fully funding the president’s request for NOAA’s environmental satellite programs. “We ask today for your support for the administration’s proposed budget of $2 billion for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service. These programs are critical to maintaining our global leadership in space science, technology and meteorology - directly contributing to our nation’s safety and quality of life.”
Slazer pointed out an ominous budget crisis looms on the horizon that would imperil the continued development of critical national space capabilities.
“Barring a deficit agreement, last year’s Budget Control Act requires across-the-board cuts beginning in January 2013 – less than 285 days from now. Sequestration is a problem affecting more than just the Defense Department. CBO estimates that non-defense programs would be cut by 7.8 percent while the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates the cuts to be even higher at 9.1 percent. A 9.1 percent cut to NASA next year would immediately eliminate $1.6 billion from the agency’s budget while also cutting NOAA’s weather satellite programs by $182 million even as these agencies are absorbing reductions from previous budget plans.”
Slazer urged the members of the subcommittee to do everything they can to prevent sequestration.
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