(From release) U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice Science and Related Agencies (CJS), today announced subcommittee passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 CJS appropriations bill, which contains critical funding for human space exploration. The legislation provides nearly $18 billion to NASA, $1.7 billion of which is allocated to rocket development for the Space Launch System (SLS) currently underway at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Shelby also announced critical taxpayer protections in the bill pertaining to NASA’s commercial crew and commercial cargo missions.
“The bill maintains focus on efforts to develop a heavy lift launch vehicle, or SLS, and preserve the mission schedule for a 2017 launch by requiring NASA to follow its own internal guidance regarding joint confidence levels in future funding requests,” said Shelby. “In order to maintain the schedule for a 2017 launch date, the bill includes $1.7 billion for SLS rocket development. The recommendation also includes funding for ongoing activities of the International Space Station and other important science research missions. I want to commend the Chair for working with me to include language that provides greater accountability and budgetary transparency in the commercial crew program and future commercial cargo missions. We must ensure that taxpayers are getting the best value for their dollar and I believe that this language will make that happen."
· NASA is funded at $17.9 billion; $254 and 1.4% above current funding levels
o Exploration -- $4.4 billion; a $254 million (6.2%) increase above the current level.
§ $1.7 billion for SLS Rocket and $1.2 billion for the Orion Capsule
§ $805 million for commercial crew.
· Language requiring NASA to ensure that companies participating in the competition for the development of Commercial Crew launch vehicles be required to submit certified cost and pricing data (consistent with FAR requirements)
· Language requiring NASA to require certified cost and pricing data for the new round of contracts for future cargo resupply missions.