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Wicker welcomes passage of NASA reauthorization bill

HANCOCK COUNTY — Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) is welcoming the passage of the NASA Reauthorization Act, a bill he said that will help reinforce NASA’s mission and maintain America’s human flight capabilities.

Earlier this year, the Obama Administration announced its intent to cancel NASA’s Constellation program, which is a plan to continue human space flight after the Space Shuttle is retired in 2011. The President’s proposal to eliminate Constellation would jeopardize human space flight and negatively impact the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Wicker said.

“Passage of this bipartisan bill sends a clear message to the administration that this Congress recognizes the importance of providing our space-related workforce with the support needed to continue developing manned missions,” said Wicker, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. “This legislation helps stabilize the future of manned space flight, and allows Mississippi to continue its leadership in our nation’s space program.”

The bill includes a provision championed by Wicker to continue construction of Mississippi’s newest engine test stand. Wicker also successfully included an amendment recognizing the importance of the John C. Stennis Space Center by encouraging the government to fully utilize the resources available at the testing facility for future commercial aerospace developments.

The NASA Reauthorization Act of 2010 passed the House of Representatives late Wednesday evening. The Senate unanimously passed the bill Aug. 5. The legislation will be sent to the President for his signature.

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