Panelists Fear U.S. Losing Space Edge

NASA's Ares I rocket lifts off in this artist's conception. (Credit: NASA)
NASA's Ares I rocket lifts off in this artist's conception. (Credit: NASA)

Economic Recovery May be in the Stars, Aerospace Experts Say
Kansas City Infozine

Space experts fear that, 40 years after putting a man on the moon, the United States is now at risk of losing the modern space race, which could crush the country’s chances of becoming the global leader in commercial space development.

Heavyweights of both the aerospace industry and government agencies that regulate it spoke about commercial possibilities beyond Earth, as well as the consequences of falling behind in such pursuits, at a panel discussion Thursday. It was held by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Hyatt Regency Washington hotel.

Though the field is largely under the public’s radar, insiders see commercial space enterprise as a gold mine of both technological innovation and economic opportunity. Some go so far as to say that investing in space could bail out the troubled American economy.

Jeff Bingham, senior adviser on space and aeronautics of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said NASA has created industries and economic vitality that have continually spun off into the private sector for the past 50 years.

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