WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced an amendment to the Senate’s FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to require the Department of Defense (DOD) to study partnering with existing government facilities, like NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, to perform research and testing on hypersonic devices.
“NASA Glenn’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky is a perfect example of Ohio’s innovative strength in aeronautics, space technology and the sciences,” said Brown. “The DOD partnering with facilities like Plum Brook Station, which has unique capabilities and infrastructure, for important hypersonics research, would not only enhance our national security but also provide our scientists the resources needed to advance aviation, space travel and scientific research. ”
“Plum Brook houses world-class facilities in Sandusky that have conducted critical and innovative ground tests for the international space community. I’m pleased that the bill already includes language highlighting the importance of hypersonic technologies to our national security, and that the Department of Defense (DoD) should take actions to improve ground-based test facilities, such as wind tunnels,” said Portman. “However, this amendment takes that a step further and requires DoD to do a report that examines all avenues for testing, including non-DoD facilities. Together, this bill and amendment send a strong signal that Plum Book should be considered a prime candidate for increased ground-based hypersonic test facilities in the future. I will fight to ensure Plum Brook is considered to be the site of increased testing.”
Last year, Brown and Portman fought to secure key priorities for NASA in the NDAA and year-end spending package. The final bill included $1.4 billion for NASA’s Orion project, which was tested at Plum Brook, along with $784 million for NASA aeronautics research, a portion of which went to NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.