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White Paper Lays Out Steps to Ensure U.S. Leadership in Space

Press Release From: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Posted: Friday, March 4, 2016

A coalition of space organizations today released a joint white paper, “Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space,” at a National Press Club Newsmaker news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The work highlights and addresses the challenges facing continued U.S. exploration and use of space, and the need for the next administration and Congress to make space policy a priority. The paper offers sensible policy solutions to the four most common challenges that continued space exploration and use efforts face – unpredictable budgeting, foreign competition, the hostile space environment, and workforce trends.

“Through this white paper, 13 organizations have united to send the message that space exploration and use, and the policies that govern them, are critical to the long-term prosperity of our nation,” said Sandy Magnus, AIAA executive director. “If the United States is to remain a leader in the global space endeavor, it is critical that a long-term commitment with resources, backed by a comprehensive strategy, be established. From the outset, the next administration and the new Congress must make space and space policy a priority and strive toward a collective bipartisan vision and plan for U.S. engagement in space. Space touches all of our lives today, everyday, and is interwoven into the fabric of how we live. As such, it should be part of our national conversation during this election year so that every American understands how what happens ‘up there’ matters ‘down here.’”

The coalition lays out several policy proposals, which, if adopted, will help sustain U.S. leadership in space. Among them are: committing to predictable budgets, funding robust investments, promoting innovative partnerships, and repealing the Budget Control Act of 2011; continuing global space engagement through programs like the International Space Station; fully funding the Space Launch System, the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, and the Commercial Crew programs; providing increased resources for national security space and launch programs; promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education; retaining U.S.-educated workers; and further reducing barriers to international trade.

Coalition members represent a broad cross section of space interests, companies, and organizations – including aerospace professionals from industry, academia, and government. Members of the coalition include the Aerospace Industries Association, Aerospace States Association, American Astronautical Society, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, Colorado Space Coalition, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Satellite Industry Association, Silicon Valley Space Business Roundtable, Space Angels Network, Space Florida, Space Foundation, and the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.

- Download the white paper "Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space".

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