NDAA Includes Gardner Amendment That Paves the Way for Assured Access to Space

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate today approved S.2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (NDAA), which provides funding for the Department of Defense (DoD), with broad bipartisan support. The NDAA included language Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) authored that allows for the DoD to purchase rockets from any certified launch provider between now and December 31, 2022 so long as the provider offers the best value to the DoD. 

“I’m proud that the Senate came together to ensure DoD has access to launch vehicles that it can afford,” said Gardner. “My amendment to the NDAA promotes competition by requiring the DoD to purchase rockets from certified providers that offer the best possible value. It also protects our national security by ensuring the DoD has the resources it needs to continue space exploration, which includes the ability to conduct a fair and open contracting process among certified launch providers.”

Gardner’s fiscally responsible amendment to the NDAA promotes competition, protects our national security, and paves the way for assured access to space, which is critical to the detection of missiles, transmitting secure communication, and gathering intelligence. It is estimated that the amendment could potentially save the DoD as much as $5 billion.

Gardner added, “At a time when the United States is facing evolving threats and security challenges in the homeland and around the globe, it is more critical now than ever that we take every step necessary to bolster our defense. I urge the President to sign the NDAA, not only because it supports our troops and their families, but also because it provides our military with the resources and tools it needs to remain competitive and protect the United States.”


Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. 

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