Washington D.C. – September 14, 2011 - In response to today’s announcement by NASA to proceed with development of the Space Launch System (SLS), Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), Chairman of the Appropriations’ Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies issued the following statement:

“This decision to proceed with development of the Space Launch System is long overdue.

“It’s past time that this Administration acknowledged the commitment they made last October when President Obama signed the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.  They promised then to deliver a plan to Congress in January – that promise was broken.  Then they promised to deliver a plan in ‘the Spring’ – that promise came and went.  Then they promised a decision in July.  Then they announced another ‘Independent Cost Assessment’ which added further delay.

“This Administration’s lack of commitment for human space exploration has frustrated and angered many of us in Congress who are committed to American leadership in space.   The Administration’s obstructionism has already resulted in the unnecessary loss of thousands of American jobs, and served to diminish our Nation’s leadership and stature among space-faring nations.

“It is our sincere hope that today’s announcement signals a breakthrough with this President that will help alleviate the uncertainty that has plagued our aerospace industrial base and wreaked havoc on its employees.  We will not judge today’s announcement by the Administration’s words, but by their deeds and actions in the coming months and years.”