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Keywords:

  • space exploration;
  • policy;
  • AIAA

At a 22 May briefing, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) called on Congress to “establish space exploration policy goals which transcend partisan political differences.” AIAA president and former NASA administrator Michael Griffin said the “goal of establishing human capability to b e a space-faring species is not a short-term goal,” nor is it a goal that belongs to only one political party. “We will not reach long-term goals without a stable, coherent, sensible plan that transcends elections and leaders,” said Griffin, who has provided advice to Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Griffin pointed to NASA's 2008 authorization as providing the kind of vision needed for NASA. The act called for human return to the Moon and preparation for the capability for permanent bases on the Moon, among other things, he said. “That's the kind of thing that we need. All of the goals espoused by the 2008 act were long-term, generational, strategic in scope,” Griffin said, adding that the act, which had bipartisan support, demonstrated “the kind of societal support, rather than political support, that I believe our space program deserves.”