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Commission recommends creation of "space imperative"
Posted: Tue, Nov 19, 2002, 10:36 AM ET (1536 GMT)
The final report of a government commission recommends that the US create a "space imperative" to bolster the nation's aerospace industry. The report by the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry, released Monday, made several recommendations specific to space in its report covering all aspects of the aerospace industry, from air transportation to workforce issues. The commission concluded that NASA, the Defense Department, and industry should partner to develop innovations in space propulsion and power, with specific goals to cut the cost and time of space access in half. The US government should also create a next-generation navigation, communications, and reconnaissance system for military and civilian use, as well as work with industry to improve the space launch infrastructure at Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. To foster the nascent space tourism industry, the one market the commission believes holds the potential for significant growth in launch demand over the next two decades, the report suggests that NASA allow private citizens to fly on the shuttle. The release of the report was the culmination of a yearlong study originally commissioned by a provision in legislation passed by Congress in late 2000. The impact of this report on policy remains uncertain, although the chairman of the House Science Committee announced Monday that he will hold hearings on the report early next year.
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