Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) today participated in a full committee hearing of the Science, Space and Technology Committee on the topic of the Space Launch System. During the hearing, Congressman Brooks specifically questioned NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. about funding for Marshall Space Flight Center.
Congressman Brooks asked Administrator Bolden about the importance of adequate funding to allow Huntsville-area contractors and NASA employees to do their jobs. He asked Bolden, "Out of the 1.8 billion, how much does Marshall need in order to fulfill the mission you envision with respect to SLS?" Bolden responded, "The 1.8 billion is for the entire SLS system, which includes ground systems, everything else. I will have to get back to you." Congressman Brooks then requested further specifics: "Are you in a position today to tell me exactly how much of that 1.8 billion is scheduled to be spent on Marshall efforts?" Bolden answered, "I am not in a position to tell you specifically how it's going to be broken out."
Following the hearing, Congressman Brooks remarked, "We're still not getting clear answers. Administrator Bolden is in charge of NASA. At $1.8 billion, the Space Launch System represents 10% of NASA's budget for FY 2011. Administrator Bolden was unable to give any idea of how he intended to spend 10% of the budget he is responsible for. That's not good. The general feeling of the SST Committee is that we are disappointed to not get more clear-cut responses to our questions. I hope that we receive the materials promised for the record in a timely manner. For months, we have been waiting for a decision on the Space Launch System. As time goes by, NASA contractors and civil servants are feeling the strain from a lack of clear direction. The sooner NASA moves forward, the better for human space flight and for the future of Marshall."