AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE
The summary issued yesterday by The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, chaired by Norm Augustine, points to a crossroads in human space exploration programs, AIA President and CEO Marion Blakey said.
â€œWe agree with the Committeeâ€™s conclusion that the U.S. faces a critical need for greater investment in the future of human space exploration,â€ said Blakey. â€œAmerican leadership in this crucial international arena is perishable without a national commitment and a program matched with the resources needed for its execution.â€
The summary indicates that the current path of the U.S. human spaceflight program is unsustainable, with the resources allocated falling well short of requirements.
Blakey continued, â€œWe need a commitment to invest in space on an ongoing basis. The kinds of technologies developed by the human spaceflight program drive economic growth, adding high-skill, well-paying jobs to our economy. They also inspire the next generation of workers to pursue careers in science, mathematics and engineering â€“ fields which have been crucial to Americaâ€™s success but which are struggling to enroll sufficient students to meet our needs in the 21st Century.â€
The benefits of a strong and robust human spaceflight program have a broad impact on the entire economy, Blakey added. Bio-medical research in the micro-gravity environment of the International Space Station is just one example of the benefits a vibrant space program can bring to the nation.
â€œAmerican participation in the ISS brings the opportunity to invest further in commercial launch capabilities â€“ assets that can help the U.S. support the ISS as the shuttle program is retired.â€
â€œWhile international collaboration is a worthy goal in itself, our partners and allies look to us to provide leadership both in terms of direction and funding.Â We cannot ignore the benefits of a fully invested U.S. human spaceflight program to our economy, our technological and knowledge growth and our position in the global community.â€