Brown Touts Ohio, NASA Glenn’s Leadership and Growth Potential in Space Nuclear Technology

Brown Has Been a Leader in Congress Pushing for Funding for NASA Glenn; Space Nuclear Technology has the Potential to Bring 20,000 Jobs to Ohio over the Next Decade

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke at the Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS) Conference in downtown Cleveland to highlight that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is prepared to lead the country in space nuclear power and propulsion to embark on the next phase of space innovation.
“There is no better place in the country to talk about new and emerging technologies than Ohio. We are a state of inventors and pioneers. There is so much potential in space nuclear technology for our country’s energy independence, and it has tremendous economic potential for Ohio. We have the potential to create 20,000 jobs over the next decade,” said Brown. “When the first nuclear reactor on the Moon, developed in Ohio – and I hope made in Ohio – powers the first lunar night on the first permanent lunar base, with an American flag flying outside, you can be sure no one is going to call us the ‘rust belt.’”
“As general chair for the NETS 2022 conference, I’d like to thank Senator Brown for serving as the keynote speaker,” said Bryan Smith, director of Facilities, Test, and Manufacturing at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. “We appreciate the Senator’s long-standing, strong support of NASA and especially NASA Glenn as well as the strong bi-partisan support from the entire Ohio Delegation. Our center has a long history of developing and testing space nuclear power and propulsion technologies, and we are fortunate to have so many industry and academic partners across the state of Ohio helping to advance NASA’s scientific discoveries and expand human exploration of the solar system.”
Brown has been pushing for increased funding for Ohio’s research and testing facilities to ensure they have the resources to continue to lead America’s space exploration. In April, Brown led the Ohio Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to the NASA Administrator Bill Nelson urging him to support the NASA Glenn Research Center’s Lewis Field Campus in Cleveland and the Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2023 budget request. The lawmakers highlighted in the letter specific areas where NASA Glenn is prepared to lead.
In the funding package that President Biden signed into law in March, Brown was able to secure key wins for NASA Glenn. Those awards include:
  • $22.6 billion for NASA, including $880 million for aeronautics research and $1.1 billion for space technology. A portion of these funds will go to NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
  • Full funding for technology and research NASA Glenn leads, including Fission Surface Power, Solar Electric Propulsion, Biological and Physical Sciences and the Communications Services Program.
  • $2.6 billion for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the super heavy-lift rocket that will return humans to the Moon, including the Exploration Upper Stage managed at NASA Glenn and the Universal Stage Adapter for Block 1B designed and developed at NASA Glenn.
  • $10 million for runway at NASA’s Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility (ATF): These funds will go toward Department of Defense/Space Force construction of a runway that will greatly expand access for the DoD, NASA, and commercial industry to ATF’s unparalleled space flight hardware testing facilities. Air is the safest way to transport delicate space hardware, especially the assembled spacecraft AFT is uniquely suited to test.
  • $29.5 million for the Department of Defense to carry out the activities necessary for the reactivation of previously decommissioned non-vitiated (i.e., clean air) Hypersonic Tunnel Facility at NASA Armstrong Test Facility.
  • $1.5 million for the Ohio Aerospace Institute’s Research Center Partnership Initiative in Cleveland: this funding will go toward creating new technologies and supporting job creation and growth in Ohio.
In March, Brown welcomed students to the Great Lakes Science Center as they learned from astronauts on the International Space Station.
In February, Brown and Ohio House members sent a letter to Congressional leaders in the Senate and House Appropriation Committees, urging them to include Ohio’s NASA priorities in the final, conference appropriations bill.