Aerospace & Defense

AIA: U.S. Human Spaceflight at a Critical Juncture

18 May, 2011

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin during the first human l...

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The future of the U.S. human spaceflight program is at a critical juncture, said Aerospace Industries Association Vice President for Space Frank Slazer.

“Cutting exploration budgets any further threatens our economic growth potential and risks our leadership in space,” Slazer said in testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Science and Space. “As a nation we can choose to continue our leadership in manned exploration and innovation or inevitably fall behind.”

U.S. space technology and its many spin-offs have fueled our economy and made us an unquestioned world leader. However, with the retirement of the space shuttle, the United States will have to pay more than $60 million per seat to Russia to transport crews to the International Space Station.

“While cutting the federal deficit is essential to assuring our economic future,” Slazer said, “cutting back on exploration investments is a penny-wise but pound-foolish approach that will have an infinitesimal impact on the budget deficit.”

Investments in NASA benefit science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, increase American economic prosperity, support national security and are a source of national pride. In a time when China, India, South Korea and other rapidly developing economies are investing in space technology, maintaining our leadership is more critical than ever.

The testimony is available at:


About AIA
Founded in 1919 shortly after the birth of flight, the Aerospace Industries Association is the most authoritative and influential trade association representing the nation’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of civil, military and business aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aircraft systems, space systems, aircraft engines, homeland and cybersecurity systems, materiel and related components, equipment services and information technology.

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