The New American Space Age: A Progress Report on Human Spaceflight

To help counter the media-fed misperception that NASA’s human spaceflight program ended with the retirement of the Space Shuttles, and to help provide a clear understanding of recent program progress, AIA recently published The New American Space Age: A Progress Report on Human Spaceflight.

This publication, released at the AIA Board of Governors meeting in May, provides a highly visual tour of hardware progress and program achievements made in the suborbital commercial market, the International

Space Station Program, Commercial Crew Program, and the Deep Space Exploration Program. The report highlights numerous achievements, including the following:

  • The International Space Station is now in its 13th year of continuous habitation by American astronauts, with numerous research breakthroughs to its name – including a trial vaccine for the Salmonella pathogen.
  • Companies competing in the Commercial Crew Program are prototyping and testing flight hardware that will end our dependence on Russia for astronaut transportation.
  • Progress on the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle will culminate in the first flight of an uncrewed Orion later this year on the Exploration Flight Test-1 mission.
  • State of the art tooling including a large new friction-stir welding machine is being built to support construction of the Space Launch System, which will be the largest launch vehicle ever built.

By informing Washington stakeholders of the impressive progress being made by NASA and the space industry on human spaceflight across 48 states, AIA believes the case for continued policy support and stable budgets for spaceflight programs is strengthened as Congress considers future funding for NASA programs.