Congressmen Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) today sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting him to support NASA Glenn in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget.
"NASA Glenn is a vital economic engine in the State of Ohio and for our nation and provides over 8,200 jobs in the state. It is an incubator of innovation that will help our nation meet environmental, energy and technological needs for generations. This is not an optional expense but a critical investment in our nation, our future and job creation," said Representatives Kucinich and LaTourette.
The full text of the letter follows:
December 03, 2010
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20501
Dear Mr. President:
As you assemble your fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget request, we request your support for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Glenn Research Center (NASA Glenn) in Brook Park, Ohio and the associated Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. As a world leader in aerospace, aeronautics, and advanced energy, and as an economic core for the State of Ohio, NASA Glenn's fiscal health is critical. NASA Glenn's workers have brought home two out of every three Research and Development (R&D) Awards that have gone to NASA from R&D Magazine since 1966. In 2009, NASA Glenn was responsible for $1.3 billion in economic output as well as 8,293 jobs.
We strongly support the Exploration Technology Development program (ETD) component of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) as recommended in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. We applaud the assignment of NASA Glenn as the lead for the Exploration Technology Development and Demonstration Program and request that this role be retained, or expanded, to lead ETD in FY2012 and beyond. Glenn is particularly well qualified to run ETD because of its broad capabilities and experience in aerospace technology R&D. While we understand that top line budget cuts may be necessary in our current financial state, we are concerned that funds allocated to ETD may be reduced to support other programs and believe that funds allocated to in-house R&D programs should be maintained.
The Solar Electric Propulsion Flagship mission within ESMD is critical for the development and demonstration of new energy generation, energy storage technologies and propulsion methods, including ion propulsion, to make NASA's future spaceflight missions cheaper and more productive. Furthermore, this investment will produce spin-off earth-based technologies that will benefit U.S. taxpayers and serve to maintain U.S. dominance in 21st century spaceflight technologies. NASA Glenn is strategically positioned to co-lead this program as the center with the greatest combined expertise in photovoltaic energy systems and space propulsion.
We also urge that NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate be funded at the level agreed upon in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. This investment represents less than half of this mission's historical funding a decade ago and is the minimum level required to maintain the agency's ability to meet its current obligations to the United States' effort to develop the urgently needed Next Generation Airspace System. NASA's aeronautics mission is critical to maintaining the safety and efficiency of U.S. air travel into the next decade and for the development of more energy efficient, quieter, and more environmentally-friendly aviation.
As the country struggles to recover from the worst recession in sixty years, it is also critical that the NASA FY2012 budget save the taxpayer from redundant R&D expenditures. As such, we urge you to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, existing investments in the Constellation Service module and leverage the considerable existing expertise and capabilities at NASA Glenn for follow-on activities related to the development of the new Crew and Heavy-Lift Vehicles.
Finally, we request continued support of the significant investments that have been made of the testing facilities at the Plum Brook Station. The facility is uniquely positioned to test a modified government or commercial capsule. Additionally, the B-2 Rocket test facility currently being upgraded that once finished, will be an invaluable testing facility that can be utilized by both the government and commercial space sector. We strongly urge you to support upgrades at this facility, including the need for a runway to allow for the testing of future government and commercial capsules.
We look forward to working with you to support the world-renowned work performed at NASA Glenn.
Dennis J. Kucinich
United States Senator
Steven C. LaTourette
Member of Congress