Sen. Brown, NASA Glenn Dir. Outline how NASA Budget Proposal Would Increase Investment in Northeast Ohio

Northeast Ohio Contractor Discusses How New Investment at Glenn Would Translate to New Business for Ohio’s Aerospace Industry

CLEVELAND, OH - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) on Monday to discuss how the President’s budget proposal for NASA would boost federal investment in Northeast Ohio. Brown was joined Ray Lugo, Acting Director of GRC.

“New investment and resources are planned for Glenn that would broaden the Center’s abilities and its role within NASA,” Brown said. “Investing in NASA Glenn’s strengths and bringing new missions will also boost demand for Northeast Ohio’s aerospace industry and create jobs. The implementation of this plan would allow Cleveland and Ohio to remain leaders in space and aerospace for decades to come.”

“It is my pleasure to welcome Senator Sherrod Brown to NASA Glenn Research Center,” Lugo said. “Over the years he has been a staunch advocate for the work we do here and we look forward to sharing with him our plans for carrying out the President’s vision for NASA’s Space Exploration future and the new assignments that have been identified for Glenn.” 

In April, the Obama Administration announced a new budget proposal for NASA. Under the President’s budget proposal, GRC would receive $2.15 billion and gain three new missions that would be critical to the future of NASA and would bring new economic development and job creation to the region. In comparison, under the previous space exploration funding schedule, GRC would have received $583 million over the next five years. Additionally, the new proposal would provide GRC with three programmatic leadership assignments.

Center capabilities that will be tapped in the President's new program include expertise in space flight systems, power and propulsion, energy, program management, and technology innovation, development, and transfer.

Through the creation of new missions and by expanding federal investment at GRC, the budget proposal would also increase demand for local goods and services produced by Northeast Ohio institutions in our state’s aerospace industry.

Brown and Lugo were joined today by Gail Dolman-Smith, President & CEO of Paragon, TEC, an owner of a small business which is a prime contractor for GRC. Dolman-Smith outlined the significance of increased federal investment at GRC for local businesses.

“Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education holds the key to our Nation’s future, and Paragon TEC appreciates the local commitment of NASA Glenn Research Center in opening doors for small businesses like Paragon TEC to support its activities to strengthen Ohio’s future STEM workforce and secure U.S. global competitiveness,” Dolman-Smith said. “Therefore, I believe that NASA Glenn Research Center increased budget will lead to more innovation, economic development and job creation.”

The following new programs and investments will be headed to NASA Glenn under the plan:

Exploration Technology Development and Demonstration Program - $1.8 billion in proposal
New Program Office would manage $223 million in fiscal year 2011 and $1.8 billion over five years to develop critical exploration technologies through laboratory, ground and flight tests. GRC would coordinate and manage these activities across the nation.

Space Technology Research Grants - $350 Million  - in proposal
New Program Office would manage $70 million in fiscal year 2011 and $350 million over five years to sustain research and graduate studies in vital aerospace?related disciplines. While serving NASA’s future science and exploration needs, this program would meet the needs of other government agencies and the commercial space sector through technological innovation. This program would emphasize foundational research in advanced space systems and space technology conducted primarily through collaboration between academia and NASA Centers, along with small business and industry partners. The Space Technology Graduate Fellowship Project would train the next generation of aerospace engineers and scientists by funding NASA-related graduate student research. This research would be performed on campus during the academic year and at NASA Centers during the summer months, where students will gain hands-on experience. Glenn Research Center would lead the development of this approach as part of NASA’s new Space Technology Program.

Aeronautics Research Augmentation
The fiscal year 2011 funding will be used to increase research activities into green aviation and Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) capabilities. Glenn Research Center would support the Integrated Systems Research Program, which addresses operational and safety issues related to the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace. The program would provide expertise in: communications related to allocation of radio frequency spectrum; communication links; and simulations. Glenn Research Center would partner with other NASA Centers to support research and development efforts that support NASA’s environmentally responsible aviation project; including: design and feasibility studies, high-fidelity simulations, flight demonstrations, design competitions and prize challenges.

Sen. Brown has been a long-time advocate of the Glenn Research Center. He has worked with his colleagues to host regular meetings of the Ohio Congressional Delegation, creating a united front of support in Washington, D.C. for GRC. In January, Brown wrote to President Obama about the need to bring new work – particularly in the field of alternative energy research and development – to the NASA Glenn Research Facility in Cleveland.

President Obama’s proposals will be debated as Congress moves forward on the annual appropriations process.

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