NASA’s announcement of the Space Launch System development plan is a bold and welcome development in these troubling times. Even as our economy struggles to recover from recession, the plan is a ray of hope that America’s belief in a better future endures and America’s continued leadership in space exploration can be preserved.
The NASA decision to initiate a competition—with bipartisan support from both houses of Congress—is encouraging and will hopefully assure that the breadth of our nation’s aerospace industry will have an opportunity to contribute their innovative ideas to the program’s success.
I am particularly pleased that NASA’s announcement coincided with AIA’s celebration of National Aerospace Week commemorating our nation’s aerospace achievements. While we work to reduce the federal budget deficit, it’s vital that we continue investing in research and development—the only way our nation will grow its economy in the future. It will also demonstrate to our nation’s young people that even though the space shuttle has been retired, our commitment to future exploration continues. To be a part of it, they will need to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees. These investments are essential if we are to continue into the 21st Century as “Second to None”