AIA Chief: Spend Money at Home, Not in Russia

Statement by AIA President & CEO Marion C. Blakey

With the retirement of the historic space shuttle, the United States now runs the risk of becoming a supplicant: we will have no choice but to pay the Russians $60 million a seat to send a U.S. astronaut to the International Space Station. Instead of funding Russia’s space program, it would seem to anyone with the long view that these taxpayer dollars would be better spent investing in new NASA programs for commercial space flight and Mars exploration. These initiatives would put thousands of soon to be unemployed aerospace workers back to work and advance science and technology in countless ways.

Indiscriminate cuts in our aerospace research and development programs will have little short-term impact on our deficit but far reaching consequences for our economic health.