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Foster Space R&D Amendments Pass House

Jun 28, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted two amendments offered by Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) to support R&D programs important to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the future of U.S. space exploration. Both amendments were adopted into the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill.

The first amendment directs NASA to work towards the development of a low enriched uranium space power reactor. NASA has been developing a low-enriched uranium propulsion system, but some of the funding has been used for other projects, including a power reactor using weapons grade uranium.

The second amendment directs that $6.5 million of the space technology account - which is funded at $1.29 billion - be used for the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program, putting the total budget for NIAC at $15.2 million.

“I am happy that the House adopted these two important amendments and believe they will help strengthen NASA, as well as make the world safer,” Foster said. “If the U.S. develops a successful low enriched uranium space power reactor design, it is likely that this reactor design would be adopted as a de facto standard by other spacefaring nations, making it less likely that weapons-grade uranium could be diverted into weapons programs. And increasing funding for NIAC will help nurture visionary ideas that could transform future NASA missions while engaging America's innovators and entrepreneurs as partners in the journey.”