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U.S. Must Develop a Clear and Comprehensive Space Policy, AIAA Corporate Membership Committee Chair Testifies

Dépèche transmise le 30 mars 2011 par Business Wire

U.S. Must Develop a Clear and Comprehensive Space Policy, AIAA Corporate Membership Committee Chair Testifies

U.S. Must Develop a Clear and Comprehensive Space Policy, AIAA Corporate Membership Committee Chair Testifies

RESTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jim Maser, chairman of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Corporate Membership Committee, and president, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Canoga Park, Calif., testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics on “A Review of NASA’s Exploration Program in Transition: Issues for Congress and Industry.”

“A Review of NASA’s Exploration Program in Transition: Issues for Congress and Industry.”

Addressing the need to clarify current space policy, Maser told the committee: “The need to move forward with clear velocity is imperative if we are to sustain our endangered U.S. space industrial base, to protect our national security, and to retain our position as the world leader in human spaceflight and space exploration. I believe that if we work together we can achieve these goals, and we are ready to help in any way we can. But the clock is ticking.”

In his prepared testimony, Maser stated that the aerospace industry, which directly supports more than 800,000 jobs nationwide, is imperiled by the lack of a clear space policy. Maser explained that the uncertainty that the current space policy imposes on the industrial base creates three unique problems for the nation: first, it makes it impossible for the space industrial base to plan for current or future needs, harming the industry’s ability to meet NASA’s needs and retain its engineering and science workforce; second, it harms the industry’s ability to recruit future workers because students who are currently enrolled in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs will be wary of entering an enterprise that lacks a clear direction and mission, and which has no guarantee of longevity; and last, it harms U.S. national security by driving up short-term fixed costs for the Department of Defense to offset the uncertainty in the needed volume of materials for a robust military presence in space.

Maser noted that while there is uncertainty about the best way to address these problems through the creation of a focused space policy for the nation, there is no doubt that “unfortunately, though, we do not have the luxury of waiting until we have all the answers. We must not ‘let the best be the enemy of the good.’ In other words, selecting a configuration that we are absolutely certain is the optimum configuration is not as important as expeditiously selecting one of the many workable configurations, so that we can move forward.”

For a copy of Maser’s complete testimony please visit: www.aiaa.org/pdf/public/Maser_Congressional_Testimony_30Mar11.pdf

AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit www.aiaa.org.

Business Wire

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