WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) announced that he was able to secure $2,600,000 in federal funding in the Fiscal Year 2008 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill for a NASA program that will be managed out of Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.
"North Alabama has long been a leader in the nation's space efforts. With the money included in today's bill, we will continue to build upon that proud legacy," said Congressman Aderholt. "I believe that the funding for the RET program will prove to be an asset not only to North Alabama and our region but the nation as well."
The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 281 to 142. The money will be used to establish the Robotics & Exploration Testbed (RET) at Marshall Space Flight Center. RET will improve the development of unmanned vehicles and robotic technologies for current and future space exploration and warfighter missions.
The RET program objective is to provide a flexible, robust and highly realistic environment to analyze and experiment with existing and future unmanned systems and robotic technologies essential to meet space exploration and warfighter needs. Among the participating federal agencies are NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, and U.S. Army Aviation, Missile, Research Development and Engineering Center.
Congressman Aderholt concluded, "This year has proven to be a tough fiscal environment, so I'm especially pleased that this program was included in the House bill. While there is still some way to go in the legislative process, today's bill passage puts us one step closer to bringing this money home to North Alabama."
The FY2008 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill provides the annual funding for several federal departments including the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Justice Department, NASA and other agencies.