FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2017
Coalition for Deep Space Exploration Statement on Administration’s Commitment to Explore Deep Space
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) welcomes Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1) signed today by President Trump, formalizing the commitment made by the Administration during the first meeting of the National Space Council to reinvigorate America’s deep space exploration program. The signing ceremony in the White House West Wing was attended by Coalition President and CEO Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar together with the President, Vice President, members of Congress, NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and NASA astronauts – including Dr. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, who together with the late Captain Eugene Cernan were the last Americans to visit the Moon during Apollo 17 exactly 45 years ago.
“After 45 years, it is time to return humans to the region of the Moon even as we look toward Mars,” Dr. Dittmar said. “The Coalition is proud to support NASA and to help bring about this exciting future. We congratulate the Trump Administration on its bold vision and commitment to American leadership in space.”
“Human space exploration expands the frontiers of knowledge and experience, and represents the best of humankind,” she continued. “This Presidential Directive affirms U.S. leadership in human space exploration, returning American astronauts to the region of the Moon, while laying the foundation for eventual missions to Mars and beyond. It is fitting that the signing ceremony occurs on the 45th anniversary of landing the last men on the moon – Dr. Schmitt and the late Captain Cernan, who made it his life’s work to ensure that Americans would return to deep space. NASA’s flagship programs for human space exploration – the Orion crew vehicle and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket – supported by ongoing research on human health and performance conducted on the International Space Station – will take a major step to fulfilling this vision beginning with Exploration Mission 1 targeted for late 2019.”
“The Coalition and its 70 member companies enthusiastically support American leadership back to the Moon, exemplified by Orion, SLS and key exploration capabilities like the Deep Space Gateway. In addition to human exploration, these missions will open opportunities for a wide range of stakeholders in science and commerce, and will strengthen and extend U.S. relationships with our international partners. Together with public private partnerships such as NASA’s NextSTEP program that is developing technologies for deep space habitats, and the Lunar CATALYST program that is advancing robotic landers, these activities will inevitably lead to new achievements in human exploration, lunar and planetary science, and to the growth of the human economic sphere, beginning in Low Earth Orbit and expanding outward to eventually encompass the lunar region and beyond.”
About the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration
The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration is a national organization of more than 70 space industry businesses and advocacy groups focused on ensuring the United States remains a leader in space, science and technology. Based in Washington D.C., the Coalition engages in outreach and education reinforcing the value and benefits of human space exploration and space science with the public and our nation’s leaders, building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for our nation’s space program.
Lauren Quesada – Griffin Communications Group