Report Urges Sweeping U.S. Space Policy

Balanced, Steady Funding Sought For Missile Defense

As President Obama is considering whether to resurrect the former White House National Space Council, a recent report recommends just such a move, and also urged full and stable funding for space programs.

That funding advice comes as Obama is writing his first federal budget since taking office.

The Obama administration should issue a broad space policy that would encompass military, civil and commercial space in a unified and coordinated approach, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) said in a recent report.

"As other nations make rapid advancements in acquiring or exploiting space capabilities, America’s leadership in space is no longer guaranteed and the security of its space assets is no longer assured," the report cautioned.

Other nations have developed anti-satellite capabilities, including China and Russia.

"Given the growing U.S. dependence on these systems, the nation cannot afford to treat its national security, civil and commercial space capabilities as separate ‘stovepipes’ but rather should look at our space capabilities as a singular enterprise consistent with national goals and objectives," the report recommended.

"The administration should provide and support a national budget that reflects both robust and stable funding across space functions to prevent disruptions to the planned lifecycle of critical, multiyear space programs," the report recommended. "With the appropriate organization in place, the administration should provide the budget levels necessary to carry out a new strategy."

The report was issued as Obama prepares to release his federal government budget plan next month, a financial plan for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010.

"The administration and Congress should work to create a more favorable business environment for the U.S. aerospace industry," the AIA report recommended.

Missile defense programs should receive balanced and reliable financial support, the report urged.

"The United States should provide balanced and stable funding for current national security space systems, including those supporting ballistic missile defense, while ensuring continued R&D and deployment to counter future threats," the report advised.

To read the report titled "The Role of Space in Addressing America’s National Priorities" in entirety, please go to http://www.aia-aerospace.org/assets/report_space_0109.pdf on the Web.

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