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Congressman Mo Brooks Improves NASA Reauthorization Bill in Space Subcommittee

January 29, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC— Wednesday afternoon, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) voted “Yes” on Space Subcommittee passage of H.R. 5666, the “National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2020.” The bill passed the subcommittee by voice vote. Notably, Brooks successfully amended H.R. 5666 to ensure competition and flexibility for NASA’s choosing an integrated crewed Mars landing/assent system design.

Brooks is #2 in seniority amongst Space Subcommittee Republicans.

H.R. 5666 will next be marked-up by the full House Science, Space, and Technology Committee before proceeding to House Floor consideration.

Congressman Brooks said, “NASA needs direction and support from Congress to achieve mission success. I’m pleased the Space Subcommittee today took an important step toward providing that direction and support by passing a bipartisan NASA reauthorization bill. This is not a perfect bill. There are good and bad parts. Nonetheless, I supported the bill with my vote today and look forward to improving this bill throughout the legislative process.”

Brooks continued, “This NASA reauthorization bill enhances America’s space exploration programs by:

  • embracing the Artemis Moon and Mars exploration program while setting a 2033 date for human orbit of Mars;
  • strengthening the Space Launch System program, much of which is done at the Tennessee Valley’s Marshall Space Flight Center;
  • recognizing the importance of heliophysics research to understanding space weather;
  • continuing NASA’s thermonuclear propulsion development; and,
  • commissioning an interagency assessment of China’s space exploration capabilities and threats posed by China to America’s space assets.”

Brooks concluded, “I thank my Space Subcommittee colleagues who supported my amendment to the NASA reauthorization that ensures competition and flexibility for NASA in choosing an integrated crewed Mars landing/assent system design. The policy experts at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center analyzed the text of the bill and determined more than two designs would be best. I’m glad this win for Marshall passed and is included in the bill as it heads to full committee debate.”

Click on the above image or HERE for video of Congressman Brooks speaking in the Space Subcommittee bill mark-up

Full transcript of video of Congressman Brooks passing his amendment follows:

Brooks: Thank you, Madam Chair. On page 21 of the Bill, paragraph I, it states “to the extent funding permits, the administrator shall maintain two competing integrated crewed Mars landing assent system design concepts through the critical design review milestone at which point the administrator shall make a selection of the system to be utilized in the first human Mars landing mission.” I believe that it is probably best to allow the administrator to have two or more and as such this amendment adds the phrasing “at least” in front of the word “two”. I believe in competition, I believe in the diversity of ideas, and the more ideas, quite frankly that are presented to the administrator, the better the chance that we have a good one that will work.

Horn: Thank you Mr. Brooks, is there further discussion on the amendment? Okay, if no other vote occurs on this amendment all in favor say “Aye.” All those opposed “No.” The ayes have it and the amendment is agreed to.