Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ohio Congressional Delegation Seeks NASA Pork

Space News reports that the Ohio congressional delegation wants the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space fired as the non-profit manager of the International Space Station national laboratory — and that privilege given, naturally, to their own state.

Members of Ohio’s congressional delegation urged NASA to strip a Florida nonprofit of its status as manager of the international space station's national laboratory and give the job to a Cleveland-based group instead.

“In light of the events of the last six months, culminating with the resignation of the head of the Center for Advancement in Science and Space (CASIS), we are writing to encourage you to reconsider your contract, and express our strong support for reconsideration of the Space Laboratory Associates proposal to manage the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory,” the lawmakers wrote in an April 4 letter to Mark Uhran, NASA assistant associate administrator for ISS. 

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) took the lead on the letter, which was co-signed by 13 of Ohio’s 18 U.S. representatives and published on Brown’s website.

Click here to read Senator Brown's letter and press release.

Brown wrote in his letter:

As you know from the strong bid submitted to NASA, Space Laboratory Associates (SLA) is a non-profit entity established by two of this country’s top scientific organizations: the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and Battelle Memorial Institute.  USRA, a leader in microgravity research, has over forty years of experience in space science and technology research and harnesses the collective brainpower of 105 universities.  Unlike CASIS, SLA is ready today to begin the important SLS work.

Brown fails to mention in his letter that these institutes are located in his state.

Brown sent a letter last May to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden asking that the project be given to his state.

In April 2011, after the Space Shuttle orbiters were awarded elsewhere, Brown demanded a GAO investigation to determine why one wasn't given to a museum in his state.

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