Space Foundation releases “The Case for Space Exploration” and advocates more funding, greater sense of urgency for NASA
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Mar. 1, 2006) -- Today the Space Foundation released an analytical publication, The Case for Space Exploration: Failure is Not an Option, in an event on Capitol Hill. United States Representatives The Honorable Ken Calvert (R-CA) and The Honorable Mark Udall (D-CO) were honorary hosts. A product of the Space Foundation’s Research & Analysis enterprise, The Case for Space Exploration is an integrated collection of scholarly essays and research findings demonstrating the crucial role of space exploration to the United States’ global leadership. "We take for granted the benefits of space exploration,” said Calvert. “The advances brought about by our space exploration program now are so totally integrated into the various aspects of our daily lives from direct satellite radio and TV to safety features such as smoke detectors that they have become all but transparent. This document helps us understand just how much we depend upon our space assets.” “The Case for Space Exploration succinctly defines the ways in which we’ve benefited from a strong program of exploration and research,” stated Udall. “Goods and services relying on space infrastructure generate more than one hundred billion dollars in direct revenue and enable important industries that are much larger. By investing in the space program, we advance knowledge, improve the quality of life for our citizens back here on Earth, and help maintain American technological competitiveness. In short, we are investing in our future." Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, was a key contributor to the publication and the featured speaker at the Capitol Hill release event. Tyson remarked, “A fully supported space vision will light flames of ambition that will forge our next generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors. Apart from the cosmic discovery that comes from this investment, their talents and expertise will drive our 21st century economy, and, as science and technology has done in the past, ensure our national security at a time we need it the most” The Space Foundation produced The Case for Space Exploration because it strongly believes that a robust program of space exploration has been and will continue to be vital in sustaining the United States’ economic and national security, driving innovation, and motivating pursuit of and excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In summarizing its findings, the Space Foundation recommended that a vigorous, ambitious, and well-funded program of space exploration must be seen as a top national priority; that the United States must proceed with a sense of urgency and a commitment to funding success; that the nation will be better served by a program that demands new capabilities and technologies; and that human and robotic space exploration must be propelled forward by a strong national imperative. Space Foundation president and chief executive officer Elliot G. Pulham underscored the importance of those recommendations. “The nation is at a crossroads where investment in civil space is imperative,” said Pulham. “Increased investment can have a profound and material positive impact on U.S. competitiveness and technology leadership, as well as the nation's status as a leader among nations. Therefore, the Space Foundation advocates a ‘1 percent solution’ civil space is so important to our nation on so many levels that it warrants sustained funding of at least 1 percent of the federal budget in any given year.” “We are today still living off the results of the large investment in Apollo,” said Dr. Jay DeFrank, executive director of Research and Analysis for the Space Foundation. “This is a long term objective and will not be achieved overnight, but the stakes are too high to ignore. We challenge Congress and the Administration to provide national funding of NASA at 1 percent of the federal budget, which will allow NASA adequate financing for continued space exploration and important science and aeronautics programs.” The Case for Space Exploration: Failure is Not an Option is available in print and as a PDF at www.SpaceFoundation.org. About the Space Foundation Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Space Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that vigorously advances civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. The Space Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C., and Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Space Foundation’s signature event, the National Space Symposium, is scheduled for April 3-6, 2006, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. Along with partnering organizations, the Space Foundation also conducts Inside Aerospace, April 24-25, 2006, in Washington, D.C.; Strategic Space and Defense, 10-12 Oct. 2006 in Omaha, Neb.; and Florida Space, Dec. 5-7, 2006, in Orlando, Fla. For more information, visit www.SpaceFoundation.org.