Florida Senators Write Obama About SLS

Florida Senators Write Obama About SLS

Florida’s Senators, Bill Nelson (D) and Marco Rubio (R), joined forces to write to President Obama about funding for facilities at Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

The letter was written to clear up what the two Florida Senators believe was a “misunderstanding” in a letter written to President Obama by five Senators from Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi on August 15.

One of the complaints in that letter was that NASA’s FY2011 operating plan would transfer money from the congressionally-mandated Space Launch System (SLS) to KSC to pay for facility upgrades.

The new letter from Nelson and Rubio seeks to clarify that there are funds in separate parts of NASA’s budget for facilities at KSC. They emphasize their support for the SLS, but argue that ground systems for a new launch vehicle like the SLS are just as necessary as the “design and build phase.” They point to a difference between NASA’s budget categories for “21st Century Ground Systems” that are part of the SLS budget and “21st Century Launch Complex” that is part of “general construction updates” at KSC. Their bottom line is that they support the “continued use of SLS funds to develop a complete heavy-lift rocket, including the KSC projects in question.”

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