Coalition for Aerospace and Science recognizes Sen. Nelson with “Champion of Aerospace and Science” award

Recognizing his ongoing and enduring support of the industry, the Coalition for Aerospace and Science (CAS) recently recognized Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) with its “Champion of Aerospace and Science” award at its second Annual Showcase of NASA Partnerships & Collaboration. Each year, CAS presents this award to a Member of Congress who has been a strong advocate for NASA.

“With the active leadership of Senator Nelson, NASA has helped to transform Florida’s space coast from a location primarily known for government launches and landings to a 21st Century Spaceport that accommodates a wide range of government and private sector launches and hosts world class manufacturing facilities,” said AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning. “Everyone here tonight benefits from NASA continuing to hold its place as the world’s preeminent organization in aeronautics research, space exploration, science, and advanced technology. That’s why we’re so pleased to be able to honor Senator Bill Nelson with this award.”

The incredible developments taking place in aerospace and the future of possibilities ahead, such as hypersonics, unmanned cargo and passenger transportation, and human deep space exploration, wouldn’t be possible without a strong ecosystem of scientific research. The aerospace and defense industry relies on NASA’s significant achievements to fuel the research we need to innovate. In addition, NASA’s ability to inspire new generations and encourage them to dream big dreams helps our industry attract a diverse 21st century workforce to build for the future.

A Spring 2018 Pew Research Center survey found an all-time high in support for NASA, including 65% of Americans seeing an essential role for NASA in the future of U.S. space travel. However, despite broad public support, NASA’s budgets have not kept pace. Even with increases over the past few years (adjusted for inflation), NASA’s budget is still several billion dollars below where it was in the mid-90’s. Yet we expect NASA to do even more – from seeking life on other worlds and understanding the universe, to creating more fuel-efficient aircraft and returning people to the moon and then on to Mars.

AIA is one of the founding members of CAS; the purpose of the coalition is to bring the entire NASA stakeholder community together to responsibly grow NASA’s budget to enable its balanced portfolio of programs to thrive and to do the vital scientific, exploration and aeronautics missions that have changed our world for the better.