Los Angeles, CA, May 23, 1997 – The Space Frontier Foundation announced today that it is sponsoring with NASA a high level policy symposium on Cheap Access to Space this May in Washington D.C. The symposium, to be held on Capitol Hill, is designed to help turn the issue of space access into a national priority. The Foundation plans to bring together congressional and executive branch leadership with launch service providers to work together on issues of concern on today’s major show stopper for all aspects of space development and exploration.
The all day event will focus on three main questions in the launch vehicle field: 1. How can the government and industry work together to make space transportation a free and competitive market?; 2. How can the nation change existing regulations to encourage the creation of new launch services?; 3. How can NASA fund more X-vehicles to drive U.S. technology development in a time of tight budgets?
The Foundation is the organization that coined the term Cheap Access to Space (CATS) and has long led the drive to dramatically lower launch costs to orbit as the lynch pin of opening space to human activities. Often critical of the agency in the past, Foundation President Rick Tumlinson stated this is an area of common ground: “We often bump heads with NASA on other issues, but in this one we completely agree. The nation must have extremely low cost, reliable and reusable access to space as soon as possible.”
The Foundation, an action oriented group, plans on the symposium being more than a series of passive presentations. The symposium will feature keynotes and a luncheon address by major government and industry leaders in the field, and will be built around interactive sessions, with industry and policy leaders engaging in roundtable type discussions.
“We want this symposium to move us closer to cheap access to space.” Stated symposium Chairman David Anderman. “Its time to get all the major players in space transportation on the same page. NASA has recognized this need, and we intend to work with them to make it happen.”