Los Angeles, June 23, 2003 The Space Frontier Foundation today unveiled a proposed U.S. Space Transportation Policy, in the spirit of the current re-examination of space policies being conducted by the White House.
"We propose the government create an entire new industry for America: a commercial space transportation industry, which will do for space what airlines have done for air travel," explained the Foundation's policy chairman, John Cserep. "No more socialist, government monopoly of space. It's time for the people to be able to buy affordable tickets to space, and to begin pioneering the frontier NASA has explored."
The current White House policy review, ordered by President Bush before the loss of the shuttle orbiter Columbia, is underway within the Space Policy Coordinating Committee1. Since Columbia's loss, calls have increased in Congress for a more thorough overhaul of the nation's whole approach to space. The Foundation is echoing that call, and offering recommendations on behalf of all citizens who wish to travel to space someday.
The heart of the Foundation's proposal states that government must assume the role of enabler and customer in space, rather than planner, designer, builder and operator. Government must support commercial firms through relevant research and offers to purchase needed services, but must stop acting as competitor and obstacle to potential private investors.
Click here for the Foundation's proposed policy language, with accompanying commentary.
1 Chaired by the National Security Council, and supported by the Office of Science & Technology Policy.