Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Applauds Committee Action on NASA Authorization Bill

July 22, 2010
Press Release

Washington, DC - Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) today announced that that the House Science and Technology committee passed the long-awaited NASA Authorization Act of 2010.  Olson, the Ranking Member of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, was a key sponsor of the legislation that ensures the continuation of human space exploration and the role of the Johnson Space Center.  The bipartisan measure is sharp rebuke of the Obama Administration’s NASA budget, which jeopardized America’s human space flight program by cancelling Constellation – the follow-on to the space shuttle.  The bill keeps the International Space Station active through 2020, fully funds a technology development program which will be housed at the center, adds an additional shuttle flight to the manifest, and ensures continued development of such critical systems as the Orion Crew capsule as a Crew Exploration Vehicle.

“Today, we fulfilled our promise to produce a NASA Authorization bill,” said Rep. Olson. “But today’s action is greater than a legislative achievement: It ensures our nation’s space program remains the global leader and restores NASA’s position as the premier exploration agency in the world.  The wonderful people who work at and support the Johnson Space Center should breathe a little easier about their future as well as that of our nation.  We crafted this bill with bipartisan support and it should be a clear signal to the Administration that their proposed path was not the best way forward.  I am looking forward to working with House Appropriators as well as my Senate colleagues to ensuring America’s preeminence in human space flight.”

During the Markup, Rep. Olson:

- Spoke out during the hearing in support of flying the launch on need flight to ensure continued utilitization of the International Space Station.  He offered an amendment that would have cut the proposed increase in the Earth Science budget to pay for the flight instead of it having to come from Exploration and Space Operations funds.
- Decried the notion that post-shuttle workforce training funds come out of NASA’s own budget and called for such funds to be taken from other sources, such as unspent stimulus funds at the Department of Commerce.
- Offered an amendment that recognizes the contributions and achievements currently being made in spacesuit technology and that those developments, much like the ones involving Orion and Ares 1 among things, remain in place.  The amendment was accepted.
- Advocated for one of the retired shuttle orbiters eventually finding a home in Houston once the program is over.

The NASA authorization bill, H.R. 5781 was reported favorably out of the House Science and Technology Committee and now awaits action by the full House of Representatives.

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Media Contact: Melissa Kelly, 202-225-5951