|28 January 1998
NATIONAL SPACE SOCIETY SAYS PRESIDENT'S WORDS PORTEND
CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW SPACE PROJECT -- A GLASS CEILING AT
CONTACT: Karen Rugg, 202-543-1900
(Washington, DC) -- January 28, 1998 -- The National Space
Society today issued the following reaction to comments made by
President Clinton during last night's State of the Union
"We join the President in applauding John Glenn's opportunity to
travel a second time to space. We also look forward to tomorrow's
signing of a landmark international agreement which signals this
year's official start of construction on the international Space
But what the President's address, our current National Space
Policy, and NASA's most recent long-term strategic plan fail to
provide is any vision for our nation in space beyond the year 2002
and completion of Space Station -- a mere four to five years away.
We are, in fact, building a glass ceiling in space.
The flight of Senator Glenn and the possible flight of Barbara
Morgan will only advance the question of 'where next?'. Our nation
needs a mandate that justifies the investments being made in Space
Station, whose purpose is to test the effects of long duration
spaceflight on humans, and in technologies to lower the cost of
access to space. A mandate that sets the next destination for
humans -- the moon? Mars? Both?
We urge the White House to take one vital step now by pledging
to help NASA deal with current and future cost overruns on the
Space Station. In the past, the White House has not requested any
official funds for NASA, leaving the agency to absorb overruns, and
raid other critical research and development programs to pay for
them. It has been suggested that an additional $200 million should
be made available in the supplemental budget, which the National
Space Society fully endorses.
Providing Congress and NASA with a means to look beyond the
glass ceiling of LEO is the best 'gift for the 21st century' that
the White House can give."
The National Space Society is an independent, nonprofit space
advocacy organization with headquarters in Washington, DC. Its
25,000 members and 95 chapters around the world actively promote a
spacefaring civilization. For more information on the NSS and our
future in space, visit http://www.nss.org/.