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Wed, Feb 04, 2015

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Finds Much To Like In FY16 Budget

Says President’s Spending Plan For Next Year Builds On Success Of Commercial Partnerships

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation said in a statement that it applauds the proposals within NASA’s FY 2016 budget request that will enable NASA’s public-private partnerships to advance U.S. exploration in low-Earth orbit and beyond. The budget provides $1.24 billion for the Commercial Crew Program, $231 million for Advanced Exploration Systems (AES), and $15 million for Space Technology’s Flight Opportunities Program.

“Many of the proposals in this budget request continue the good work enacted into law by Congress last year,” stated CSF President Eric Stallmer. “We applaud the strong support for Commercial Crew and Cargo, Advanced Exploration Systems, and Space Technology’s Flight Opportunities Program, all of which contribute to safe, reliable, and cost-effective capabilities for our nation’s space program. We look forward to working with Congress to fully fund and authorize these innovative commercial approaches to achieve our national space priorities.”

NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Programs leverage competitive, firm-fixed price contracts to provide the U.S. with multiple transportation capabilities to and from the International Space Station; thereby ending NASA’s dependence on Russia by 2017. NASA currently pays Russia more than $70 million per seat to fly our Astronauts from Russia to the International Space Station. With two domestic providers under contract, the Commercial Crew Program will allow American Astronauts to fly from American soil and lower the average cost per seat to $58 million.

AES initiatives enable NASA to leverage industry’s investments in the development of exploration capabilities such as expandable habitat modules and lunar landers. These public-private partnerships will play a critical role in extending sustained human presence in and beyond low-Earth orbit.

The Flight Opportunities Program works with commercial companies to pursue cost-effective technology demonstration and science research opportunities on suborbital vehicles. The knowledge gained from these affordable flights will enable future manned and unmanned missions to new destinations, keeping the U.S. at the forefront of exploration technology.

FMI: www.commercialspaceflight.org

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