HASC Restores ORS and STP Funding, Sharply Cuts PTSS

HASC Restores ORS and STP Funding, Sharply Cuts PTSS

The full House Armed Services Committee (HASC) marked up the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310) yesterday.  Most space programs were funded at their requested level, but the committee added money for two programs the Obama Administration seeks to eliminate and substantially cut a program it wanted.

The committee added $25 million for the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program that the Administration wants to eliminate and for which it requested no funds.  The committee also added $35 million to the $10 million requested for the Space Test Program, another activity the Adminstration wants to end.  HASC’s Strategic Forces subcommittee already had made clear its support for those programs during a March hearing.

HASC made a major reduction to the Precision Tracking Space Sensor (PTSS) in the Missile Defense Agency’s request.  It provides only $50 million of the $297.4 million requested.   The Strategic Forces subcommittee called for an analysis of alternatives (AoA) to the PTSS in its markup of the bill two weeks ago.  It specifies that the AoA be conducted by a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) that is not involved in the program, which would leave out the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL), which is the technical lead of the PTSS development team.    PTSS also was controversial last year.

HASC made small reductions to other DOD space programs:  $2 million from the $446.6 million requested for the Space Based InfraRed System (SBIRS)-High; $2 million from the $25 million requested for space control technology; and $1.5 million from the $229 million requested for Advanced EHF communications satellite program. 

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