As President Barack Obama begins to develop his budget request for Fiscal Year 2013, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today led members of the Ohio Congressional delegation on a letter to the President to fully invest in the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC).
"NASA Glenn is a leader in research, development, and pioneering the next big aerospace idea," Sen. Brown said. "To continue out-competing and out-innovating the rest of the world, we must ensure that this critical research center receives the resources needed to continue leading the aerospace industry."
"NASA means jobs and investment in Ohio. The NASA Glenn and NASA Plum Brook facilities are vital to future job creation in Northeast Ohio and essential to the NASA mission of space exploration, aeronautics, and alternative energy research and development," Rep. Marcy Kaptur said.
"NASA Glenn is responsible for nearly 9,000 jobs in the state and $1.3 billion in economic output in FY2010 alone. Its workers are the reason. I will keep fighting to protect NASA Glenn, its programs and its workers," Rep. Dennis Kucinich said.
"As a member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I have consistently advocated for funding for the programs that are most important to NASA Glenn. I am pleased to join my colleagues in requesting funding levels that will utilize the expertise of Glenn while bolstering innovation and job growth in Northeast Ohio," Rep. Marcia Fudge said.
"I am proud to support NASA's roll in our state, and to stand by the thousands of Ohioans who depend on NASA's programs to put food on their table and pay their bills. I will continue to fight to keep NASA a part of our economy and our state, and to protect jobs for the people of Northeast Ohio," Rep. Betty Sutton said.
The letter was also signed by Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-17). The full text of the letter is below.
December 13, 2011
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20501
Dear Mr. President:
As you formulate the FY 2013 budget request and other policy matters relating to NASA, we respectfully request that the Glenn Research Center (Glenn) and the associated Plum Brook Station receive the resources necessary to successfully lead our Nation's preeminence in space and aeronautics. In addition to the crucial role Glenn plays within NASA, it is an asset of Ohio's that must not be compromised. With an economic output of over $1.3 billion last year and a labor force of more than eight thousand people in the State of Ohio, the effects of inadequate funding could be devastating.
Your plan for the future of NASA occurs at a critical juncture for the Agency -- balancing its successful history and traditions with future challenges both on Earth and in space exploration. The accomplishments of the past hold the door to manifest promises in the advancement of human knowledge and experience, and the quality of life on our own precious planet. In accordance with your own assessment, this spells a new age for NASA, revitalizing its focus on the research and technologies necessary to make this path possible.
Your previous budget request underlines advancements in power, including advanced and alternative energy production and storage, in-space propulsion, cryogenics, communications, and advanced materials and structures, and we encourage your continued support by fully funding these programs and allocating significant resources and responsibilities to Glenn in your FY 2013 President's Budget Request. The skills, experience, facilities, and infrastructure at Glenn are unique, invaluable, and irreplaceable. We request that Space Technology is allocated a minimum of $650 million, which includes funding to fully implement the Glenn-led Solar-Electric Propulsion Project. Along these lines, we also encourage you to create an Advanced Energy Program Office at Glenn to coordinate all of the advanced energy work being done there and across the agency, and to drive technology commercialization between NASA and private industry. Glenn's expertise in energy R&D, systems development, and technology commercialization makes it the best choice to lead this effort.
The Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) and Space Launch System (SLS) flight hardware development efforts for new crew and heavy lift launch vehicles are also a high priority for Glenn. Glenn has had major responsibilities and made significant contributions to the Orion, Ares I, and Ares V efforts, and those responsibilities translate directly to the MPCV and SLS Programs. As the plans for development of the new heavy lift launch vehicle proceed, it is critical that Glenn be assigned major roles in the development of the power system, thrust vector control system, payload fairing development, and other systems where Glenn's expertise and capabilities can be utilized to achieve success. We therefore respectfully request that the MPCV be funded at $1.4 billion, and the SLS at $2.3 billion.
Space environment testing remains integral to the success of NASA's Exploration mission. Major investments have been made in modifications to the Space Power Facility at Plum Brook Station for such testing, and it is a world-class, one-of-a-kind test facility. It is critical that funding be included to commission this unique facility, build a runway to ensure safe and timely transportation access, utilize it for NASA and commercial space hardware development programs, and encourage cross-agency utilization by other government agencies having requirements which can be met in this world-class facility.
Cross-Agency Support (CAS) is vital to the efficient daily operation of the agency. For the past several years, CAS has remained flat within the budget, and centers like NASA Glenn have had to make enormous cutbacks. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for a high-tech agency such as NASA to maintain its workforce expertise and critical facilities, as well as run everyday systems such as information technology, acquisitions, and basic center and agency management. We encourage you to consider a slightly larger increase in CAS to help maintain NASA's human capital and physical infrastructure.
Lastly, aeronautics is the backbone of Glenn. As one of the three original NACA sites, Glenn was established in Cleveland to provide geographic diversity to what would become NASA and was specifically chosen because of its close proximity to industry and manufacturing. As our nation discusses human spaceflight, aeronautics is often taken for granted. We ask that the aeronautics budget be at least $590 million. Glenn will continue to play a key role in that mission, especially with your efforts regarding new environmentally friendly aviation projects.
It is of utmost importance that Glenn is provided with the funding and key responsibilities needed to ensure the future success of NASA. We look forward to working with you.