Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Public-Private Partnerships in Aerospace
Space Frontier Foundation Calls For NASA to Return to its Roots, and Propel the Space Industry Forward
Silicon Valley, CA – The Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) would like to congratulate NASA today on celebrating its Centennial Anniversary of its predecessor the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), honoring its legacy of continued international aeronautical and aerospace leadership. Powerful public-private partnerships, a model that dates back to the days of U.S. Railroad Industry, continues to thrive as the preferred model for NASA’s partnership with the emerging commercial space industry. Space Frontier Foundation calls for NASA and Congress to continue this highly successful model for future space endeavors, as humanity expands into the solar system.
On March 3, 1915, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics was founded on the principle of undertaking, promoting, and institutionalizing aeronautical research leading to practical applications in the aviation industry. NACA’s creation was a landmark event in aviation history, and as the agency quickly became a prominent force in the research and development of aeronautical technology, it fostered the rapid emergence of advanced aeronautical concepts that furthered commercial aviation technology and progress worldwide. Such NACA concepts led to remarkable aeronautics progress over the years including the development of seminal aeronautical test methodologies such as high-speed wind tunnels, the development of airfoil standards, and the concepts that set the foundations for transonic and supersonic flight.
“We would like to express our appreciation to the U.S. Congress, which has continuously funded NACA and/or NASA for 100 years,” said James Pura, President & Director of the Space Frontier Foundation. “The past decade has seen an increased focus on the commercialization of space, and we urge Congress to allow NASA to return to its roots, and do for the emerging commercial space industry that NACA did for the emerging aviation industry 100 years ago. Smartly-designed public-private partnerships will trump laissez-faire every time, and everyone will benefit in the long run.”
SFF believes that NASA must return to its prominent space leadership role, advancing aeronautical and aerospace technology, and standing at the forefront of space exploration and scientific achievement. It must work with commercial space but as a decisive leader, establishing strategic public-private partnerships that have the capabilities to shape exponential growth in space achievements by many orders or magnitude through technology sharing and knowledge exchanges. Through the successful NACA partnership model of treating all players in the industry as valued partners, rather than competitors, NASA can achieve significant scientific and research advancements including inexpensive reusable space transport vehicles, advances in space medicine and radiation control, increased asteroid exploration, advanced space communications, manned Mars missions, as well as increased scientific research in the areas of cosmology, exoplanets, black holes, and stellar/galactic evolution.
The future of space science and exploration can be bright for NASA, but only if our national leadership resolves to allow NASA to regain its prominent leadership position in the realm of space through a shifting of the national space paradigm back to its seminal NACA heritage. The centennial of NACA must be a call for a renewed beginning rather than just a smile and nostalgic reminiscing.
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