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Space Foundation Challenges NASA to Embrace Commission Findings

06/15/2004

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jun. 16, 2004) -- The Space Foundation today broadly endorsed the findings and recommendations of the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. A leading advocate on civil, commercial, and national security space issues, the Foundation urged NASA to embrace the sweeping changes recommended by the Commission and move boldly forward with the exploration of space as set forth in the nation's new Vision for Space Exploration. "The report offers smart ideas for restructuring NASA and rightly challenges the space agency to more fully rely on commercial space resources as it explores our solar system and beyond," said Elliot G. Pulham, president and chief executive officer. "Chairman Aldridge and his commission have produced a sweeping set of recommendations in a compressed time frame. The challenge now is for NASA to respond in kind." Entitled "A Journey to Inspire, Innovate and Discover," the report was requested by President George W. Bush following his Jan. 14 address that outlined NASA's new exploration goals. The Commission was ordered to examine and make recommendations on implementing the new Vision and to do so within 120 days of its first meeting. Given the relatively short period that the commission had to research and write its report, some aspects of NASA's exploration plans did not receive as much attention as others. "We had hoped the Commission would offer stronger and more specific recommendations in the areas of education and public outreach," Pulham said. "It won't matter how NASA plans to return to the Moon or explore Mars if there are no new engineers and scientists to take us there." Nonetheless, the Foundation says it fully supports the Commission's recommendations. "If human kind is to move outward into the solar system and beyond, the old Apollo approach won't work," Pulham said. "The proposed changes in how NASA is guided and managed are long overdue, and must be embraced if the agency is to be successful and relevant going forward." The Space Foundation (www.spacefoundation.org) is an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with headquarters in Colorado Springs and offices in Washington, D.C., and Cape Canaveral, Fla. Alternate media contact:
Jim Banke, Director of Communications
(321) 868-6288 or [email protected]

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