NSS emphatically requested that the House of Representatives adopt the Senate version of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and commends the House of Representatives for having done so.
The three-year authorization demonstrates a bipartisan cooperative effort on the part of both the House and the Senate to provide a framework for engaging the Executive Branch in a comprehensive dialog on the future of NASA.
NSS Executive Director, Gary Barnhard, offered this statement, “Another piece of history was written on the night of September 29, 2010. Thanks in no small measure to the efforts of citizens from all walks of life who called their representatives to have their voices heard, the House passed the Senate version of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. This effort does not by any means guarantee the future that we wish to see come to pass, but it does light the way forward along a path that is not the politics of the usual. Even the most ardent critics rose to speak of their vision of a dynamic, engaging, and sustainable space program. Accordingly, we all won this fight. The ideas are on the table. We are earnestly engaged as a nation in the debate on how to secure the future we wish to see come to pass.”
Greg Allison, NSS Executive Vice President and Chair of the Policy Committee elaborated, “Given the deep divisions expressed by the Legislative Branch and the Administration when the President’s plan was first announced, NSS could see that compromise would be needed in order to get a constructive plan for NASA’s future enacted that could both pass through Congress and be accepted by the Administration. The risk of an impasse had to be averted so that true space exploration and development could proceed. We convinced the Space Exploration Alliance to adopt our message of compromise during our February Legislative Blitz in which we echoed this throughout the halls of the Congress. We called for destinations and milestones, for an increase in space commercialization, and for the immediate development of a Heavy-Lift-Launch-Vehicle, rather than an endless study program. We won on all of our major points in the Senate, with the Administration, and ultimately in the House. This proves the effectiveness of our Political Action Network.”
Rick Zucker, Vice President for Public Affairs for the NSS, added, “The NSS has reaffirmed its longstanding and unwavering commitment to further space exploration and development, by calling on the Executive and Legislative branches to incorporate their various proposals into a Unified Space Policy so that the United States can once again begin to move beyond low Earth orbit. This is a major victory for the space advocacy community, our space program, and our nation. However, there is still much work to be done, not the least of which is the passage of an Appropriations Bill that is in accordance with the Authorization.”
Congress has spoken, and the bill now awaits the President’s signature. Going forward, it is incumbent upon Congress, the Administration, NASA, commercial concerns, and non-governmental organizations to all work together to determine how best to leverage the necessary partnerships between the public and private sectors so as to implement both the spirit and the letter of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010.