Report from Washington, D.C.

Space Power Lecture Features Augustine

Written by: developer

Space Power Lecture Features Augustine The Space Foundation, in partnership with the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA), held the last Space Power Lecture Breakfast of 2009 on Dec. 8 in Washington, D.C. Featured speaker Norm Augustine, chairman of the Future of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee and former Lockheed Martin chairman and chief executive officer, talked about the challenges facing the space industry and answered questions from the audience, which included members of Congress, high-level military and Department of Defense leaders, congressional staffers, and representatives from Space Foundation and NDIA member companies.

Augustine said that he feels that space is more of a high-ground than ever, but that he is concerned about the United States' history of stating programmatic goals without providing the adequate funding. He reiterated his feeling that NASA, in particular, needs better funding and that the U.S. needs to cooperate better with other nations, including being prepared to have more partners in the 'critical path' of programs.

Among Augustine's other points were:

  • Critical technological capabilities, such as in-space refueling, should be invested in to enable more affordable and more capable missions.
  • The U.S. may have to readdress launch vehicle issues, especially whether the redundancy of separate launch vehicle fleets at the Department of Defense and NASA is worth the expense.
  • Export controls must be need modernized; saying that, "instead of a low wall around everything, we should have a very high wall over a small, narrowly defined group of technologies." [Note: The Space Foundation also supports this position, for details, click here.]
  • The NASA Administrator needs to be able to manage NASA locations and headcount with more freedom and flexibility.
  • Education is the key to the future of the nation in space. [Note: The Space Foundation is an active proponent of improved education to raise U.S. proficiency in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), for details, click here.]

The Space Power Lecture series highlights valuable information and insights about national security space and space policy for elected officials, their staffs, industry leaders, and key government decision-makers.

Augustine was awarded the Space Foundation's General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award in 2002.


This article is part of Space Watch: January 2010 (Volume: 9, Issue: 1).