The National Space Society applauds President Obama for his expression of firm commitment for human spaceflight, and for moving forward in refining the administration’s plan for space exploration.
Following the announcement of the President’s FY2011 budget proposal for NASA, the Society advocated for the inclusion of more detailed goals. NSS is gratified to see President Obama take another step in that direction to secure America’s position as a global leader in space. This will foster a new space economy servicing the needs of America and humankind.
The President’s speech of April 15, 2010 stated emphatically his, and his administration’s, commitment to the mission of NASA and its role in providing for the future. He stressed a focus on future accomplishments and laid out a plan for
— dramatically increased robotic exploration and scouting missions,
— an advanced replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope,
— an array of expanded Earth/climate sensing work,
— extension of the life of the International Space Station and provision of funds to use it to the fullest,
— support for commercial transportation initiatives for cargo and crew,
— development of the Orion spacecraft to serve as a Space Station Crew Emergency Vehicle and its evolution to a Beyond Earth Orbit exploration vehicle,
— design completion for a Heavy Lift Launch capability no later than 2015 followed by the production of the vehicle,
— investment in the Technology, Research, and Development to enable the use of the material resources and energy in space and to address the challenges of the Beyond Earth Orbit space environment (such as radiation shielding, advanced propulsion, etc.), and
— human Beyond Earth Orbit missions to asteroids within the next two decades, Mars orbit by the mid-2030s, and the Martian surface in his lifetime.
The President stressed the importance of a transformative agenda for NASA, and the critical role of breakthrough technologies in enabling NASA and our nation to create the future we wish to see come to pass.
The Society congratulates the president for refining his vision to include such incremental goals as the design of a Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle by 2015, and a preliminary timetable for human exploration destinations.
The National Space Society has and continues to be a staunch advocate of a balanced, comprehensive, sustainable, and personally engaging mosaic of space programs that will transform our tomorrows.
The President has committed his administration to making it so.
The National Space Society looks forward to working with the executive branch, congress, industry, the space advocacy community, and the general public to foster, achieve, and sustain the consensus needed to see it come to fruition.
The President’s remarks can be seen on the National Space Society’s Web site: http://www.nss.org/President-Speech-041510.pdf.
NSS will follow-up with subsequent statements as more details emerge.