WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today issued the following statement regarding the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) announcement of a new five-year cooperative agreement with the Green Bank Observatory and Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI):
“It doesn’t seem like a month goes by without reading about another discovery made at the Green Bank Observatory. I am excited that the NSF has made the wise decision to continue this partnership and provide some much-needed stability to help continue fostering innovation and discovery. It has been my privilege to advocate for Green Bank as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and to help support all of the good work happening there. I’ll continue to do so now and for the many future scientists and explorers who are inspired by the Green Bank Observatory.”
Green Bank Observatory operates the world’s largest, fully steerable telescope, the 100-meter diameter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT), as well as numerous other smaller instruments and a world-renowned education and public outreach center.


  • In July, NSF announced the findings of their Environmental Impact Study, concluding that they would continue to support the operation while seeking partnerships with other agencies and institutions instead of shutting down the facility. Senator Capito was vocal throughout that process, advocating for continued NSF support by sending letters, participating in public meetings, and speaking with NSF leadership. The senator met with NSF Director France A. Córdova in July 2015 and July 2017 and participated in a West Virginia delegation call with her in November 2016.
  • As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Capito has advocated for resources to continue Green Bank Observatory’s operations, most recently in the FY2019 Commerce, Science, and Justice bill by authoring the following language: “Green Bank Observatory.—The Committee recognizes the significant investment NSF has made to develop the world-class scientific facility at the Green Bank Telescope Observatory [GBO] and the benefit NASA has gained through its use of the GBO facility. NASA is encouraged to continue its use of GBO to support its Planetary Science Research program, including orbital debris monitoring and other activities, and to coordinate with NSF and other government agencies to develop and support multi-agency management plans for GBO, including research, facilities, and maintenance funding. NASA shall include in its fiscal year 2020 budget request any planned support for the subsequent 5 fiscal years.”


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