As New Chair of the Space & Science Subcommittee, Sinema Meets with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson

Mar 13, 2023

Sinema secured a commitment from NASA to fund key Arizona NASA Missions

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Chair of the Space and Science Subcommittee, met with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Bill Nelson to discuss Arizona priorities on space research, exploration, and engineering in the 118th Congress.
“Arizona leads the nation in both space and science innovation, creating good careers and a healthy economy for all. I look forward to building on our successes and ensuring Arizona continues to lead the way for generations to come,” said Sinema.
The Senator secured a commitment from Administrator Nelson to prioritize funding in the NASA budget for the Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor Mission, based at the University of Arizona. NEO Surveyor, a key part of NASA’s Planetary Defense work, will allow NASA to meet the Congressional mandate to detect and identify 90% of potentially hazardous large asteroids.
In her meeting with Administrator Nelson, Sinema touted Arizona’s world-class research universities, including the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, which have excellent partnerships with NASA to advance important missions, such as NEO Surveyor, Psyche, ORIRIS-REx, and Mars research.
Last Congress, Sinema led the bipartisan Chips and Science law – legislation providing more than $52 billion to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing amidst a global semiconductor shortage, reducing reliance on foreign countries like China and enhancing the United States’ global competitiveness – through the U.S. Senate. The law modernizes the federal government’s approach to science, improves the National Science Foundation, grows the STEM workforce, and expands our country’s global leadership in innovation, research, and development.
Sinema was instrumental in ensuring the law reauthorized NASA, incorporating provisions she wrote as a leader on the Space subcommittee – directing NASA to fund key science research at Arizona universities, maintaining the International Space Station, and sending the first woman and person of color to the moon.
Last month, Sinema introduced the ORBITS Act – legislation improving national security, supporting communications reliability, and protecting American astronauts by directing NASA to publish a list of space debris that poses a risk.