WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 18, 2022 – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) met with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Bill Nelson to discuss Ohio’s leadership in space innovation and the areas of excellence where NASA Glenn in Cleveland is prepared to lead. Brown also urged the Administrator to quickly replace outgoing NASA Glenn Director Dr. Marla Pérez-Davis, who is set to retire in June, with a Director who is fully committed to working for Ohio and NASA Glenn long term.
“NASA is working to return to the Moon and reaching for Mars, the next frontier – and that requires the technology that Glenn is developing, like Fission Surface Power and the Communications Services Program,” said Brown. “NASA Glenn should be the center NASA turns to for space power, electric propulsion, and hypersonics. And we have the workers and the expertise and the legacy to lead.”
“We’re conducting a search for a new center director who will build on Glenn’s eight decades of success, pushing boundaries and breaking barriers in aerospace research and engineering. I have complete confidence that Glenn will remain at the forefront of breakthroughs essential for NASA’s missions back to the Moon and beyond, developments that advance aeronautics, and future aerospace capabilities in Ohio and throughout our nation,” said Administrator Nelson.
Last week, Brown spoke at the Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS) Conference in downtown Cleveland to highlight that NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland is prepared to lead the country in space nuclear power and propulsion to enable next phase of space exploration.
Brown has been pushing for increased funding for Ohio’s research and test facilities to ensure they have the resources to continue to lead America’s aerospace industry. In April, Brown led the Ohio Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to Administrator Nelson urging him to support NASA Glenn’s Lewis Field Campus in Cleveland and Neil A. Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2023 budget request. The lawmakers highlighted specific areas where NASA Glenn is prepared to lead.
In the Fiscal Year 2022 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.