Space Foundation News

U.S. Losing Its Lead in Space

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U.S. Losing Its Lead in SpaceCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 20, 2009) -- Marty Hauser, Space Foundation vice president for Washington operations, Research and Analysis, represented the organization at a Congressional hearing this week, hosted by the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics. Hauser (pictured) warned that the U.S. is rapidly losing a leadership position in space, and he described China’s “state-of-the-art” rocket launch facilities.

“Others are catching up fast,” he said. “Of particular note over the past decade is the emergence of China’s human spaceflight capabilities.”

Other panel members included: J.P. Stevens, vice president of Space Systems for the Aerospace Industries Association; Dr. Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University; Dr. Kai-Uwe Schrogl, director of the European Space Policy Institute; and Dr. Ray Williamson, executive director of the Secure World Foundation.

Representatives attending included:

  • Chairwoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)
  • Ranking Member Pete Olson (R-TX)
  • Rep. Parker Griffith (D-AL)
  • Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
  • Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL)
  • Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
  • Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX)
  • Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)

Major themes discussed at the hearing were:

  • Concern the U.S. could become irrelevant as other nations take note and act accordingly
  • The need for stable programs in the U.S. with stable funding
  • More countries than ever are part of the “space club”
  • Cooperation, at this time, is good, but needs to be equitable
  • Cooperation is very good, in terms of dealing with global challenges like climate monitoring
  • Agreement that nations are involved in space for the same reasons (prestige, high-tech development, national security and economic competitiveness)
  • ITAR needs to be modernized

Hauser also took the opportunity to discuss the Space Foundation education programs, its partnership with Charles County (Md.) Public Schools, space networking events hosted by the Space Foundation, such as the National Space Symposium, and The Space Report 2009: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity.