The Foundation has worked to advance the cause of Cheap Access to Space (CATS) since its creation in 1988. In November, 2008, we submitted a Declaration for CATS to the Obama transition team.
Declaration for Cheap & Reliable Access to Space (CATS) We believe that achieving Cheap & reliable Access to Space (CATS) is one of the most important, if not the most important, strategic objective the United States should pursue in space. Lowering launch costs by at least an order of magnitude while significantly increasing launch reliability is the key to fulfilling the many unrealized promises of space as a central part of a better future. We need CATS if we want to increase the practical benefits derived from space for the American people. We need CATS if we want to: • Accelerate the growth of the existing $250 billion/year space economy, potentially to over $1 trillion/year, creating millions of new highwage jobs for Americans; Inspire millions of American children with the tantalizing possibility that they might one day live and work in space — thus motivating them to study science, technology, engineering and math; Tap the unlimited clean and renewable, solar energy available in space to enable a modern standard of living for all 6 billion people on Earth and for the rapidly growing global economy that is lifting billions out of poverty; Increase the amount of environmental research and monitoring of planet Earth with a larger number of cheaper and more powerful remote sensing satellites; • Enable the birth of new space industries like satellite servicing and refueling; commercial human spaceflight of thousands of people per year; point-to-point global transportation in a few hours; on-orbit tourism, research and manufacturing; and the mining of asteroid and Lunar resources; Open the “space frontier” by making human activity, presence and settlement in space economically self-supporting and starting a virtuous cycle of economic development; Enhance our ability to study the Universe and to search for life beyond Earth with many more scientific missions and a new generation of larger space-based telescopes; and Achieve “all of the above” within our constrained Federal budget environment. • • • • • • Perhaps most importantly, CATS is a dual-use capability that will significantly enhance the national security of the United States. In January 2001, the bipartisan Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization concluded that we are in danger of suffering a “Space Pearl Harbor,” a devastating attack on vital U.S. communications and remote sensing space assets. By allowing for the rapid replenishment of our satellites, CATS would eliminate most of the benefit of a surprise attack in space. By thus reducing the incentive to attack U.S. space assets in the first place, CATS would be a stabilizing deterrent to war in space and an instrument for peace on Earth. CATS cuts across all space agendas, all space agencies, and all space programs. It is a clear national imperative. We urge the new President of the United States and the U.S. Congress to: • • • Establish CATS as a national strategic priority; Learn from, and avoid, the failures from previous attempts to achieve CATS, all of which tasked a government agency to pick “The Solution”; Focus instead on promoting the growth of a competitive private CATS industry by encouraging private investment, development and innovation while also drawing on proven examples of government support for technological and industrial development — e.g., NACA, DARPA, NSF, focused X-vehicles, Space Act agreements, the Kelly Airmail Act, tax incentives, and prizes; Undertake a review of current U.S. policies that may hinder the achievement of CATS; and Re-establish the National Space Council to help implement CATS as a top national priority. • • The Declaration for CATS is supported by the Coalition for CATS, which is composed of the following not-for-profit organizations — the Ohio Aerospace Institute, Space Florida, the California Space Authority, the Virginia Commercial Space Port Authority, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, the Space Frontier Foundation, the National Space Society, the NewSpace Alliance, the Progress & Freedom Foundation, the Space Studies Institute, the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, the International Association of Space Entrepreneurs, International Space University*USA Alumni, the Space Power Association, the Spaceward Foundation, the Space Generation Advisory Council, the Sharespace Foundation, the Atlas Society, the Wright Brothers Institute, the One Giant Leap Foundation, the Moon Society, the Space Tourism Society, and the Committee for the Advocacy of Space Exploration.