National Space Transportation Policy   [open pdf - 233KB]

From the Introduction: "Space activities are critical to the Nation's technological advancement, scientific discovery, security, and economic growth. As outlined in the 'National Space Policy,' the utilization of space has transformed every aspect of society, and the United States remains committed to maintaining its role as the leading space-faring nation. Space transportation capabilities play a vital role in enabling these space activities by providing the United States with access to diverse regions of space. The U.S. space transportation sector is undergoing a period of change as new actors and capabilities emerge and nontraditional public-private partnerships are established. At the same time, the sector faces challenges to include increased proliferation concerns and international competition. To assure continued leadership in this arena, it is essential that the United States foster more efficient and capable space transportation systems and approaches that can address such challenges and enable new activities and discoveries in and from space. Maintaining an assured capability to meet United States Government needs, while also taking the necessary steps to strengthen U.S. competitiveness in the international commercial launch market, is important to ensuring that U.S. space transportation capabilities will be reliable, robust, safe, and affordable in the future. Among other steps, improving the cost effectiveness of U.S. space transportation services could help achieve this goal by allowing the United States Government to invest a greater share of its resources in other needs such as facilities modernization, technology advancement, scientific discovery, and national security. Further, a healthier, more competitive U.S. space transportation industry would facilitate new markets, encourage new industries, create high technology jobs, lead to greater economic growth and security, and would further the Nation's leadership role in space."

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