Cantwell calls on NASA for continued support of Washington’s aerospace industry

WASHINGTON — “NASA is with you when you fly” was the line uttered by Washington’s Democratic U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell when she referred to the deep ties between NASA and Washington’s aerospace industry.

She’s hoping those ties continue with a new budget and influx of cash, since it would have a positive impact on Washington’s economy.

NASA is now in the throes of its budget process, and on Tuesday morning, Cantwell called on NASA administrator Bill Nelson to continue to support Washington’s aerospace industry, which has contributed so much to NASA missions.

Cantwell’s office says 42 Washington companies are providing services or components for the Artemis missions to get back to the Moon.

Workers in Redmond at Aerojet Rocketdyne created parts of the propulsion system for NASA’s Dart mission, which crashed a craft into an asteroid to see if we could change its orbit. It was part of an effort to see if we can prevent an asteroid from colliding with Earth. NASA’s FY2024 budget request is $27.2 billion.

Cantwell hopes some of that money flows to Washington companies creating and/or preserving jobs in aerospace in Washington.

“It is my goal to complete another NASA bill this Congress, this time with a multiyear authorization that will help ensure that the nation’s leading space and aeronautics research agency has stable, predictable funding that it needs to succeed. It would be the first multiyear authorization in 13 years,” said Cantwell.

NASA’s administrator says it’s working with Boeing on the next generation of aircraft and wings. The agency is helping with a new wing design on the 737 that could make it 25% more fuel efficient — saving energy and ensuring Boeing keeps people working on the assembly lines.

If Cantwell can pass her multiyear budget for NASA, that could mean job creation and preservation in Washington’s aerospace industry.