Washington, D.C. January 21, 2014. Mark Udall, a strong advocate for Colorado’s innovative and job-creating aerospace industry, welcomed the inclusion of more than $2.7 billion in the bipartisan budget bill the president recently signed into law for space programs and initiatives based in the Centennial State. The allocations, approved through the legislative process and on their merits, reflect Colorado’s status as an innovation hub for good-paying, middle-class jobs.
“It’s only appropriate that the innovative minds in what used to be the frontier of the American West are leading the way in exploring the final frontier of space. I am proud that Colorado-based space programs I have championed in Congress were included in the bipartisan budget, which the president signed into law last week,” Udall said. “Entrepreneurs and scientists alike are keeping the Centennial State at the forefront of next-generation scientific discovery and space exploration while also helping Colorado win the global economic race. I will keep fighting to ensure Congress continues to make smart, strategic investments in Colorado’s growing aerospace industry.”
Some highlights of the budget deal’s appropriations include:
$1.2 billion for NASA’s deep-space Orion vehicle, which is being partially manufactured in Colorado through contracts with Lockheed Martin, Broomfield-based Ball Aerospace, Advanced Solutions Inc., Deep Space Systems, the Denver Research Institute and other cutting-edge companies.
$824 million for the Joint Polar Satellite System, which is being partially built in Colorado by Ball Aerospace and the Aurora-based arm of Raytheon. The Joint Polar Satellite System will improve our nation’s weather forecasting ability by using the latest scientific and technological advancements.
$696 million for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, a federally-backed competition that the Louisville-based Sierra Nevada Corporation is looking to win. The program aims to find a commercial partner for NASA that will allow the United States to once again launch American astronauts to the International Space Station.
$2 million for the Boulder-based COSMIC-2 satellite program. The program, which Udall visited in August 2013, will deploy a total of 12 satellites into low-Earth orbit to monitor the global atmosphere and vastly improve weather forecasting and climate monitoring. The program is estimated to inject $80 million into Colorado’s economy over the next 10 years and support 350 good-paying, middle-class jobs through the Boulder-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and other partners in the Centennial State.
Additionally, the budget deal was passed as part of Udall’s bipartisan bill to extend a crucial insurance framework for commercial space projects.
Udall, chairman of the U.S. Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee, has fought to ensure that Colorado is home to innovative aerospace companies and job creators.