The National Space Society calls for the United States to make civil space a high national priority in order to ensure American leadership in scientific discovery, technology development, and the creation of new industries and new applications that will benefit all humanity. Five actions are necessary to achieve this objective:
Formulate a Strategy to Achieve the Ultimate Goal. Congress and the Administration shall institute, by no later than February 28, 2013, a comprehensive civil space strategy to achieve the long-range goal of the human settlement of space, including the use of space to better life on Earth.
Leverage the Private Sector. Congress and the Administration shall support public-private partnerships in space that draw on the strengths of both sectors. Commercial Crew Development is one such program that must be funded at the level requested by the Administration.
Ensure American Technical Leadership. Congress shall take all appropriate steps to utilize the internationally-recognized expertise of NASA, as well as the power of American industry, to develop enabling technologies and systems capable of carrying humans beyond Low Earth Orbit, exploring space, and developing new uses of space that will nurture new industries and support civil government functions.
Develop New Applications That Better Life on Earth. Government and industry shall work together to support research and development leading to new applications that will harness the vast material, energy and other resources of space, including use of Earth orbit, to dramatically improve life on Earth.
Establish Priorities to Enable a Sustainable Path for the Expansion of our Civilization. As a necessary and integral part of the exploration, development, and eventual settlement of the solar system, priority should be given to establishing an integrated spacefaring infrastructure capable of transporting passengers and cargo throughout the Earth-Moon system and beyond.
National Space Society Policy Committee
September 2011 (updated April 2012)