Garcia, bipartisan group urges NASA to fully fund Mars Sample Return Program

Politics and government
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News release 

Reps. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, and Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, led a bipartisan letter to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson urging him to fully fund the Mars Sample Return Program.  

The letter was co-signed by 20 other members of Congress from California. 

The Mars Sample Return Program is led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a major employer in Southern California that has long been a leader in aerospace engineering and space exploration. The letter affirms the intent of Congress that NASA be proactive in ensuring JPL receives adequate funding to complete the MSR mission, retain its critical workforce, and ensure America maintains its status as world leader in the race to Mars. 

“The bicameral and bipartisan consensus of Congress is to strongly support the mission and the importance of NASA expeditiously committing to a new architecture that ensures a timely launch to recover the samples,” wrote the lawmakers. 

“If NASA continues to put forward insufficient funding necessitating any further reductions in staff downstream and unnecessary delays to the mission, it risks compromising our national leadership with respect to solar system exploration, compromising our future human missions to Mars, compromising our scientific community’s process for providing independent advice and recommendations to the federal government, and undermining the intent of Congress. Therefore, we strongly urge you to submit an FY 2024 operating plan that funds MSR at no less than $650 million,” the lawmakers concluded. 

The full letter text can be found at 

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