Shelby vows to protect the SLS

By Jeff Foust on 2013 January 30 at 7:57 am ET

Responding to what is at least a somewhat manufactured controversy, a key senator said Tuesday that he will continue to support NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift launch vehicle. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) told the Huntsville Times that he will “continue to fight hard to ensure that taxpayer dollars are invested wisely in SLS so that we maintain our nation’s leadership role in human spaceflight,” according to a statement furnished to the newspaper. Shelby’s statement was apparently prompted by a Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday that called on canceling the SLS and turning over all space transportation systems to the private sector. Shelby noted that “the so-called commercial space industry is funded in large measure by taxpayers through NASA.”

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