The National Space Society vision is people living and working in space

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2004


NATIONAL SPACE SOCIETY STATEMENT ON ALDRIDGE COMMISSION REPORT

Report unlocks the power of the private sector; Breakthrough recommendations must now be put into action

WASHINGTON, DC The National Space Society hailed the Aldridge Commission report as a powerful plan to transform our nation's space exploration efforts. The report's recommendations open the path to vigorous space exploration with far-reaching benefits for the country.

"This report is fueled with a tank full of breakthroughs," said NSS Executive Director George Whitesides. "Combining an emphasis on affordability with the powerful effect of a fully engaged private sector, the commissioners have set out a plan that will transform NASA and lead the way to a spacefaring civilization."

NSS is particularly pleased that many policies it has long advocated found support with the Commission. Above all, NSS hails the commissions strong statement that a primary focus of the Vision should be the commercialization of space.

"Encouraging private industry is another way of saying encouraging private citizens," said Whitesides. "This report sets a course for a future in which space is as diverse as our world, with members of the public living and working in space."

The Commission's support of Centennial Challenge prizes, tax incentives, regulatory relief and property rights are the breakthrough ideas that will open the space frontier. These ideas have long been advocated by NSS as low-risk, low-cost strategies that unlock the potential of American private sector, saving taxpayer dollars and establishing sustainable growth in space.

"We look forward to working with NASA, Congress and the White House to ensure that these cost-saving breakthroughs are embedded in our nation's space efforts," concluded Whitesides. "The next step is action: defining specific goals and objectives, and getting down to work."

Finally, NSS congratulates the Commission on its focus on inclusion as it went about its work. Inviting comment from a wide range of parties, including direct response from the public in a series of regional hearings, the Commission has set an example of openness that should be embraced throughout the space community.

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The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, international, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. NSS has more than 22,000 members and 50 chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizens voice on space.

Individuals who wish to show their support for space can do so via www.nss.org/join or www.nss.org/donate.

For More Information:
George Whitesides
Executive Director
(202) 429-1600
george@nss.org


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