FROM SPACE, YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING — but their courage and our gratitude
In every age and in every generation, a time of testing comes that forces a people to look deep within themselves. That path of discovery determines for each of us who we truly are. In that test we are challenged to give up our own self-centered pursuits and place instead the common good at the forefront of our lives.

On history’s clock, now is such a time for the people of the United States, and for freedom and democracy. And, thus, for the members of the National Space Society. We have before us twin challenges to face as a Society. First, to set before the American people the rationales for a strong civil, commercial, and military space program in light of the war effort. And second, a unified momentum to maintain our dreams of a longer term, larger and more expansive space program.

Because of a network of murderers, our dreams of a long-term space program has been pushed out of our daily world for a time. Within America, only a fool would ignore the urgent national situation that now confronts each citizen. Our sons and daughters, neighbors and spouses are being sent into combat, from which not all will return. Our homeland is threatened anew each day, as a watchful law enforcement tracks our every movement and civil defense authorities remain on guard at water treatment sites, bridges, power plants, and where large numbers of people must gather or traverse. Even little children are fearful of airplanes in flight. This is not the America that we knew even a few weeks ago, as peaceful summer skies beckoned us to a cooling fall.

The nonprofit world has never coexisted with a time of sustained warfare. There are few markers or guideposts for us to follow. On the one hand, we must continue to be a source for a long-term vision of the future, something to aspire to above the fray of today’s existence. But while we point the way to tomorrow, we must also promote today’s near-term utility of the space program.

Why? Because it can save lives now. Because space technology, obtained from research into human spaceflight programs and robotic probes, will help us maintain our standard of living and fight the terrorist murderers. The assets of our space program are everywhere in our lives. Now is the time to celebrate this utility and make sure all Americans value this contribution. Several areas should be highlighted today for their value in the quality of our lives:

• Satellite Communications from Investments in NASA Research
• Space Remote Sensing from Planetary Probes
• Protective Equipment Derived from Space Suits on the Shuttle & Station
• Optical Systems Developed from the Space Shuttle and Apollo Programs
• Global Positioning System Navigation Technology and GIS Programs
• Enhanced Flight Control Systems Developed from Landing the Shuttle
• In-Flight Health Monitoring Technology Obtained from the Apollo Lunar Module

All of us have been living off of the investments made in advanced space technology years and decades ago. Now the time has come to make new investments in such research, so that our children will reap the benefits that meeting future needs will bring. That research has dual uses, both for practical needs and future U.S. human spaceflight goals. Make no mistake about it, we shall one day sail again the sea of space beyond Earth’s orbit. It is our destiny, our future and our fate to do so. But when we do, it will be our values as much as our machinery that we will bring with us. What values are applicable to spacefaring? Freedom, individual rights, personal responsibility and equality of opportunity. A questing nurturing spirit of exploration and discovery. Openness: open minds, and open hearts. In other words, all of the things a terrorist would seek to destroy. Therefore we set sail now to rescue our values as they are threatened. A defense of not only our homeland, but the ideas for which we live our lives. Because, you see, America is more than buildings, and faces, and airplanes and spaceships. America is an idea, which can be damaged but never destroyed. An old and ancient idea that a free people can govern themselves and provide hope for all the world. An idea that will always endure as long as there are people that believe in it.