- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
An all-star panel of former astronauts convened on Capitol Hill during National Aerospace Week to discuss the past, present and future of U.S. space policy.
The panel included Buzz Aldrin, Brewster Shaw, Frank Culbertson and Tom Jones, who shared their reflections with Congressional staff and industry representatives before fielding questions from the group.
The conversation ranged from the space race to the shuttle program to building the International Space Station. While the astronauts’ experiences and opinions varied, former International Space Station Commander Frank Culbertson summed up the overall theme, asking the question: does the U.S. have the political willpower and courage to go beyond low earth orbit?
At a time where the NASA’s future is not clearly defined, the audience agreed that the United States needs to send Americans beyond low earth orbit, and this should be treated as a national priority. The panel concluded that our country needs and deserves a national space strategy, a roadmap that this administration and future administrations can follow.
AIA Source: patrick.carlson[at]aia-aerospace.org