From: Coalition for Space Exploration
Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2013
WASHINGTON - The Coalition for Space Exploration congratulates the Administration on signing a balanced National Space Transportation Policy allowing NASA to continue to expand domestic commercial space industry access to low Earth orbit, while continuing to develop the heavy lift launch capability needed to take humans to Mars and other deep space destinations. With so many important issues facing our nation's decision makers, this shows that they have not lost focus on the critical space exploration sector, which has been proven time and time again that it is one of the best investments the government makes for the realized return.
"The space industry at large fosters technology development, spurs economic growth, and inspires youth to attain high-tech careers" said George Torres, chair of the Coalition for Space Exploration. "A balanced approach between government and commercial efforts will help spur innovation and technology development in a more cost-effective manner than ever done before."
This long-term vision is also indicative of the maturity of our industry. Since we have been sending crews to low Earth orbit since 1961, these capabilities have matured so NASA can outsource these efforts in order to focus on more difficult missions. However, humans have not traveled beyond low Earth orbit since the last crew walked on the Moon in 1972. With the continued development of the Orion crew capsule and the Space Launch System (SLS), our nation will have the capability to take the next significant steps into deep space. SLS enables the most far reaching human space exploration, but it is also an absolute game-changer for ambitious robotic missions to the outer planets and large unprecedented astronomical observatories.
Recent events have shown that other nations recognize the value of space exploration, with both Russia and China announcing plans for heavy lift launch capabilities. Providing NASA with the necessary resources to push the boundaries of deep space exploration enables us to pursue new and enduring technologies which will maintain America's position as a world leader in many economic and scientific fields.
We look forward to our industry's accomplishments on the horizon, including stepping stone missions over the next decade that will lead us to lay footprints on Mars in the 2030's. The SLS and Orion enable these stepping stone missions to begin in 2017, with increasingly difficult steps throughout the 2020's. With support from the Administration, the combination of SLS and Orion will effectively establish a highway to the entire solar system, paving the way for new technology, fueling economic growth, creating new jobs and inspiring youth for generations to come.
About the Coalition for Space Exploration
The Coalition for Space Exploration is a group of space industry businesses and advocacy groups that collaborates to ensure that the United States remains the leader in space, science and technology by reinforcing the value and benefits of space exploration with the public and our nation's leaders, and building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable strategic direction for space exploration.
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