offers the important advantage of leveraging the resources, talents, and capacity for innovation from various agencies to address such shared challenges as the diminished space industrial base, the dwindling technical workforce, and reduced funding levels.
A recent congressionally mandated report, Leadership, Management and Organization of National Security Space,3 raised those points and recommended an integrated national space strategy. The committee agrees on the need for a process to define a national space strategy, and believes that the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Security Council must play a leading role in the process.
All of the agencies involved in the national security and civil space communities share the same pool of trained talent, industrial base, technology advances, launch infrastructure, and ground and test equipment. They all benefit from research conducted in universities and industrial laboratories, and they all have needs for international coordination of space policy. Coordinating the responsibility and accountability for these national resources will help to ensure their efficient use and maintenance, as well as provide a platform for planning future upgrades in capability.
There is an urgent need to replenish the aerospace science and engineering talent in the government and industry workforce and to restore the base of expertise in certain critical skill areas. Only with a strong, diverse workforce will the civil space program be able to meet the opportunities and challenges now facing the nation.
U.S. space activities—both civil and national security—are not isolated elements of the national enterprise. They interact with the broader aspects of our nation’s commerce, transportation, education, and international relations. Civil space activities always have been, and will continue to be, excellent vehicles for educating future scientists and engineers, promoting positive international relations, and supporting the nation’s foreign policy objectives. In short, they exist to serve national priorities and consequently should be understood and aligned in that light, and their progress toward effectively implementing national space policy and serving the national interest assessed accordingly.
As noted at the outset of this chapter, Recommendation 1 calls for a broad policy foundation that will maximize the potential for civil space activities to contribute to addressing major national needs and objectives. Recommendations 2 through 6 outline specific, immediate actions to enhance those contributions via climate change and environmental monitoring programs, scientific research,