Red State Mayors to Obama: Send Federal Funds Fast!

October 24, 2011

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for supporting NASA Administrator Bolden’s recent announcement to move forward on the Space Launch System (SLS). As you know, our communities have been deeply affected by the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program and the cancellation of the Constellation Program. Collectively, the Houston, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama communities have faced the loss of thousands of jobs in the aerospace industry, which has been devastating, particularly at a time when the economy struggles to recover.

Americans have always explored the unexplored – it is in our DNA to do so – and we will not accept anything less than our best efforts. The lack of direction for the next generation’s human space flight program led to uncertainty within our highly skilled workforce. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Johnson Space Center (JSC) workforce and contractor community have dedicated their talent and years of hard work to an incredible success story.

While we all agree that commercial space ventures are critical to the future of human space flight, they cannot come at the expense of NASA’s role in ensuring access to space. They cannot come at the expense of seeing all the amazing, cutting edge expertise gathered together at MSFC and JSC being dispersed around the world – lost to this country and our own space efforts.

Your support for SLS and the Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) is critical to the stabilization of the aerospace industry and the economic recovery for our respective communities. We ask you to urge Administrator Bolden to move forward as expeditiously as possible on all relevant contracts.Speed is imperative to protect the workforce and to ensure our nation’s global leadership in space and in technological advancement.

Sincerely,

Annise D. Parker
Mayor
[Houston, Texas]

Tommy Battle
Mayor
[Huntsville, Alabama]