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Blakey Calls for a U.S. Space Strategy

Press Release From: Aerospace Industries Association
Posted: Monday, April 12, 2010

In a speech today, AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey asked President Obama to lay out a clear strategy for human spaceflight with concrete timelines and goals when he comes to Florida for a space summit this week.

"In 1962, President Kennedy didn't say we'd go to the moon today; he said, this decade," Blakey said at a meeting of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla. "Despite the financial troubles that lapped at his feet, President Kennedy stepped up to the challenge and urged us forward, with a goal and a vision and a plan. Today, a lack of urgency and specificity will not sustain the vision and, as we know, where there's no vision, the programs -- and the skills and workforce that go with them -- perish."

President Obama is scheduled to speak Thursday in Florida on the future of the space program. Blakey insisted that America needs specific metrics for a concrete commitment to human spaceflight beyond low earth orbit, including clear goals and milestones. Shifting the focus of human spaceflight programs is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the main goal is keeping America strong and in the lead.

"We require a roadmap for the future, with milestones along the way and a sense of urgency that space exploration is important to our country and proclaims in clear terms that this is who we are as Americans," Blakey concluded.

Founded in 1919, the Aerospace Industries Association represents the nation's leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military, and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, materiel, and related components, equipment services, and information technology.

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