California Space Industry Lobbies Congress for NASA, Export Reform and STEM Ed

The California Space Authority, a non-profit industry group, has been on Capitol Hill this week lobbying officials on behalf of the Golden State’s space industry, which makes up 22 percent of the global space market. CSA is pursuing a broad agenda that includes requested Congressional actions regarding NASA, DoD, export reform, hosted payloads, satellite procurement, and education.

A summary of CSA’s main lobbying goals, excerpted from the authority’s point papers, is shown after the break.

NASA — Requested Congressional Actions

  • Support funding consistent with NASA Authorization Act of 2010, supported by entire U.S. aerospace industry.
  • Support full funding for NASA in FY 2012 – $18.7 B.
  • Support space science funding to include Mars Science Laboratory, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, NPOESS Preparatory Project, Radiation Belt Storm Probes.
  • Support space technology budget.
  • Support Commercial Cargo Resupply Service program and Commercial Crew Development program consistent with the funding level provided in the Authorization Act.
  • Support investment for Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System to support initial operations by December 31, 2016, consistent with the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.
  • Support educational funding.

DoD — Summary

  • DoD space budget must grow as importance of space grows
  • Adequate and stable funding necessary to ensure robust, reliable, affordable and competitive program that assures access to space
  • Funding to include range of small to large expendable launch vehicles available upon rapid response basis
  • Support for U.S. industrial base, including small and medium sized businesses, essential for national security

Export Controls — Requested Congressional Actions

  • Support Congressional action to return to the Executive Branch determination of export jurisdiction of satellites products consistent with that provided for all other product categories
  • Support Administration’s efforts to revise U.S. export control system by reforming components into the “Four
    Singles”:

    • Single Control List (harmonize USML and CCL dual use items; merge into single tiered list)
    • Single Enforcement Coordination Center (improve interagency coordination)
    • Single Information Technology (IT) System (reduce multiple databases, more efficient licensing)
    • Single Licensing Agency (independent agency appointed by President with Oversight board)
  • Support draft legislation proposed by the Satellite Industry Association and Aerospace Industries Association of America

Hosted Payloads and Satellite Services Procurement – Summary

  • Hosting payloads for the Government on commercial satellites can save money, fill critical gaps in capabilities, and accelerate program timing
  • Costs are reduced through sharing of infrastructure (i.e. launch vehicle, satellite bus resources, operations, payload command and control)
  • Takes advantage of commercial industries’ efficient and well defined acquisition and development processes which are based on fixed priced contracting
  • Gives the government nearly 20 launch opportunities per year
  • Stimulates entrepreneurial investment and innovation
  • The President’s Space Policy specifically endorses USG use of hosted payloads.

Education – Requested Congressional Actions

  • Support stable funding for STEM programs within Dept of Education
  • Support DoD’s National Defense Education Program ($101.5 M)
  • Support NASA’s educational programs ($138 M)
  • Endorse and fund programs that engage middle school students through utilization of engineering
    professionals in the classroom
  • Support hands-on training for college and university students through partnerships with federal
    government agencies (NASA, DOT, DoD, NASA, Dept of Labor)