On Sept. 29, the U.S. Congress passed S. 3729, a bill to authorize NASA programs for fiscal years 2011 through 2013. The bill soon will be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature, signaling a new direction for human space exploration. Boeing today released the following statement:
“Passage of the NASA Authorization Bill by the 111th Congress is a monumental feat and one that will continue to sustain the United States’ commitment to human spaceflight and exploration. We applaud Congress for achieving a bipartisan, bicameral resolution and for its commitment to maintaining U.S. leadership in space.
“Development of a heavy-lift launch vehicle capable of human exploration beyond low Earth orbit is the best way to keep the United States at the forefront of human spaceflight. The concurrent, rapid deployment of a dedicated, lower-cost transportation system to low Earth orbit will support the International Space Station and commercial ventures.
“This bold national space program will enhance the United States’ security and economy by supporting its skilled industrial base, particularly in the areas of applied science, technology, engineering and math. It also encourages the growth of new technologies and emerging businesses.
“Excellence in human spaceflight is a significant part of the American identity, symbolizing global leadership on the highest of technological platforms. We are greatly encouraged by Congress’ support in facing the challenges of human space exploration. With the signing of this bill, the United States will continue its leadership of a mission that has inspired generations.
“Boeing has served as a major partner in space exploration since the first missions. Our talented people have a mature understanding of NASA’s enduring needs; a practical approach to innovation; and a commitment to mission assurance and safety.
“We look forward to building on the proud tradition of the explorers and visionaries who have brought us to the next phase of human spaceflight.”
Lockheed Martin Statement
Lockheed Martin applauds passage of the NASA Authorization Bill and the strong bipartisan policy direction provided by the House and Senate. We commend the vision of Congress and the Administration to continue bold exploration beyond low Earth orbit and the development of Orion, NASAâ€™s multipurpose crew vehicle to help achieve those goals. This exciting and robust space program will enable humans to explore destinations beyond Earthâ€™s orbit well within this decade. NASAâ€™s ongoing pursuit to advance technology and inspire future generations of explorers will ensure the U.S. maintains it leadership in human space exploration.
The Orion crew spacecraft incorporates the latest advances in human spaceflight technologies and has already passed rigorous human-rating reviews by NASA. With a proven launch abort system and its inherent design to provide the highest level of safety for the crew during long-duration missions, Orion is poised to take on challenging missions that will further human space exploration. In his speech at the Kennedy Space Center in April, the President set expectations for a crewed mission to an asteroid. In response, the NASA Authorization bill paves the way for increasingly longer duration and scientifically-rich missions, such as a crewed flight to an asteroid, within this decade.
Lockheed Martin has teamed with NASA since our nation first sent humans into orbit with the Mercury flights. We look forward to furthering the space exploration journey for many decades to come.