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Letter from the Coalition for Space Exploration to White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card

Press Release From: Coalition for Space Exploration
Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2005

November 22, 2005

Mr. Andrew H. Card, Jr.
Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. Card,

The Coalition for Space Exploration, consisting of 42 aerospace companies and 11 industry associations, respectfully urges your support for an FY07 NASA budget of not less than $16.962B --- the funding proposed in the President's budget submittal last year for FY07. The Coalition fully supports the Vision for Space Exploration outlined by President Bush in January 2004. We urge you to consider the economic, competitiveness, educational, and national security value of this Presidential priority and we ask that you recommend a funding profile that ensures NASA is given adequate resources to move forward with the Vision for Space Exploration.

When the President announced the Vision, he noted that this bold and necessary initiative would require a sustained commitment spanning decades. Now, barely two years into the journey, fiscal challenges appear to be already placing the Vision at risk. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of NASA's Federal and contractor workers, 70% of whom live and work in the Gulf Coast region, the steps laid out in the President's Vision for Space Exploration have begun. We believe those dedicated workers need your support now more than ever. Space is a critical economic driver in the Gulf. Thousands of aerospace workers, many without homes have continued on the job in the aftermath of the hurricanes that struck the region. NASA-related jobs are a key factor in making the U.S. a globally competitive economic power and also contribute billions to the economy.

While the Coalition understands the tremendous budget pressures created by our military commitments and the impact of recent natural disasters, we believe the economic payback driven by NASA programs warrants the investment. NASA's budget is only 0.7% of the Nation's budget, but NASA programs provide one of the largest paybacks per dollar giving rise to emerging technologies in new materials, structures, computer systems, electronic devices, medical advancements and new generations in weapon technologies. Investment in NASA benefits nearly every industrial segment of the American economy. NASA programs also provide one of the few government programs proven to inspire American children to study math and science, and leads to increases in graduates in engineering and technology programs -- an absolute must if our Nation is to remain a leader in the world economy for generations to come. These combined benefits are key to preserving and extending the engine of American quality of life for today's families and for future generations.

We appreciate the enormous challenges you face developing a fiscally responsible federal budget, and we respectfully request that you consider the negative impacts that near-term funding decisions could have on this long-term Presidential initiative that will yield so much for future generations.

Respectfully,

The Coalition for Space Exploration

Companies:

AAI Corp
AeroAstro
Aerojet
Analytical Graphics
ARES Corp.
ASRC Aerospace
ATK
Ball Aerospace
Bechtel Corp
The Boeing Company
Cisco
Computer Sciences Corp
Constellation Services Int'l
Dynamac
Edison Welding Institute
EDS
Embry Riddle
Futron
General Dynamics
Gulfstream Aerospace
Harris Corporation
Honeywell
IBM
ILC Dover
Jacobs Engineering
Kistler Aerospace Corp
Lockheed Martin Corp
Loral Space & Communications
Northrop Grumman Corp
Orbital Sciences Corp
Pratt Whitney
Raytheon
SAIC
Spacehab, Inc
SpaceX
Swales Aerospace
Teledyne
Brown Engineering
Total Resource Management
Transformational Space LLC
United Space Alliance
United Technologies Corp

Associations:

Aerospace Industries Association
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
American Astronautical Society
California Space Authority
Electronics Industries Alliance
Florida Space Authority
National Institute of Aerospace
National Space Society
Satellite Industry Association
Space Foundation
Space Transportation Association
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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