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AIAA TESTIFIES ON FY93 NASA BUDGET REQUEST

 AIAA TESTIFIES ON FY93 NASA BUDGET REQUEST
 WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Testifying before the Senate


Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space, Cort Durocher, executive director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) presented the institute's testimony on the FY93 NASA budget proposal.
 "Support of scientific research and technological development is an essential factor in a country's economic growth and international competitiveness," Durocher told the committee. In concurrence with reports by the Augustine and the Bahcall committees, Durocher urged the Senate to reverse the trend of denying support to technology development for science programs. He noted that investment in technology development prior to space-science missions is generally minimal and of low risk compared to the alternative: simultaneous development of a mission and the technology needed for its implementation.
 AIAA's testimony emphasized that "space transportation is the keystone for a successful U.S. space program," and suggests that the current U.S. mixed fleet of shuttle and launch vehicles be enhanced. Consequently, Durocher noted that although the current decades-old fleet must be maintained, Congress should support a "new, lower cost, reliable and robust family of launch vehicles" and "should not ignore the valuable new technology emerging from programs such as NASP." AIAA urged that with proper attention to good management and cost reduction there was enough room in a no-growth NASA budget for all projects proposed, particularly NASP, SEI and NLS.
 AIAA's testimony placed strong emphasis on the applications of space systems and technologies. Although a small portion of the overall NASA budget, these applications -- in areas such as Earth observations, both military and civil communications and materials processing -- could well be the most important contributions of the civil space program to national competitiveness.
 AIAA expressed concern over the practice of "earmarking" NASA funds for local-interest projects at the expense of congressionally approved NASA projects.
 Specific civil-space issues cited in AIAA's testimony include Space Station Freedom, the Space Science Program, Mission to Planet Earth, Space Transportation, the Space Exploration Initiative, Commercial Programs and Space Applications, and Education.
 Representing more than 40,000 professional members of AIAA, Durocher's statement emphasized the entire NASA budget rather than program recommendations. He stressed the expediency of considering the advice offered by the nation's scientists and engineers.
 AIAA is the nation's largest professional society and information source devoted to the science and engineering aviation and space. For more information or for copies of the testimony call Gayle Armstrong at 202-646-7432.
 -0- 3/18/92
 /CONTACT: Gayle I. Armstrong of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 202-646-7432/ CO: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; NASA ST: District of Columbia IN: ARO SU:


MH-DC -- DC001 -- 9072 03/18/92 09:05 EST
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Date:Mar 18, 1992
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