Washington, D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, the association of companies working to make commercial human spaceflight a reality, to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and to inspire young people to pursue careers in science and engineering, strongly endorsed President Obama’s space vision today. The President’s plan increases NASA’s budget by $6 billion over 5 years and includes new investments in exploration to Mars and other destinations, new technologies, and commercial spaceflight. The President stated, “I am 100 percent committed to the mission of NASA and its future,” and added, “We will work with a growing array of private companies competing to make getting to space easier and more affordable.”
Please see below statements from members of the space community:
· Mark Sirangelo, Chairman of Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems and Chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation: “The President’s plan will create thousands of new jobs starting almost immediately, and the commercial space industry is eager to do our part to hire the experienced workers in Florida and elsewhere who are being transitioned from the retiring Space Shuttle. And in the years to come, the President’s plan will create new industries and markets that will generate even more jobs at an accelerating rate, just like the historical growth of early aviation or the Internet.”
· Eric Anderson, CEO of Space Adventures: “This visionary plan is a master stroke. It’s exactly what NASA needs in order to continue to lead the world in space exploration in the 21st century.”
· Frank DiBello, CEO of Space Florida: “The future of space travel, along with the investment, innovation and jobs that go with it, lies in the innovations of the commercial sector… Together, NASA and private companies can ensure our nation remains first in space.”
· Elon Musk, CEO and CTO of SpaceX: “Handing over Earth orbit transport to American commercial companies, overseen of course by NASA and the FAA, will free up the NASA resources necessary to develop interplanetary transport technologies. This is critically important if we are to reach Mars, the next giant leap in human exploration of the Universe… For the first time since Apollo, our country will have a plan for space exploration that inspires and excites all who look to the stars.”
· Bretton Alexander, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation: “The President’s message today was spot-on: the new plan means more jobs, more spacecraft, more new technologies, and more astronaut flights. In fact, a recent independent study by the Tauri Group found that NASA investment in new commercial spaceflight programs will create an average of 11,800 direct jobs per year over the next five years, and that figure does not even include the investments in other NASA programs like technology and heavy-lift.” [For details on the jobs study, please visit http://www.commercialspaceflight.org/?p=1186]
· Bill Nye the Science Guy, Vice President of the Planetary Society: “People don’t realize that NASA’s budget has been increased, not decreased. The President is proposing that we let the maturing commercial space industry take over the routine jobs, while making more money available to explore other worlds. It couldn’t be more exciting.”
The President’s new plan has also been endorsed by other well-known public figures such as New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, former Congressmen Newt Gingrich and Bob Walker, and James Cameron, who served on the NASA Advisory Council from 2003-2005. (Please see http://www.commercialspaceflight.org/?p=1144 for additional endorsements.)
Previously, NASA had already invested $50 million in five commercial space companies — Boeing, United Launch Alliance (ULA), Paragon Space Development Corporation, Blue Origin, and Sierra Nevada Corporation – to demonstrate hardware milestones on the path to commercial human spaceflight as part of the CCDev (Commercial Crew Development) program, as well as an additional $500 million in SpaceX and Orbital Sciences through the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program.
About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation
The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Executive Director John Gedmark at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202.349.1121.
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