Fourth Year of U.S. Space Competitiveness Decline

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As reported by AvWeek’s Mark Carreau in Futron Study: U.S. Losing Ground In Space, according to Futron Corporation’s 2011 Space Competativeness Index, the U.S. continues for a fourth year its slide in space. Its index is based on 50 metrics, including three main indicators: government, human capital and industry.

The U.S. remains top ranked among 10 nations in space competitiveness for 2011, but it is losing ground to global competitors as its space policy undergoes a major transition, especially in the area of human spaceflight.

Futron properly points out that the “transition” in U.S. human space policy is part and parcel of our nation’s space program’s decline relative to Russia, China, India, and other nations. In the meantime, the Obama Administration sits on the Space Launch System report, one that was due 230 days ago under Section 309 of the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, which the President signed in October 2010. NASA is under subpoena by the full Senate Commerce Committee for failure to turn over to Congress documents requested in May 2011. And sometime after Oct. 1 of this year, NASA will pay $1 million out of its Cross Agency Support budget for its Inspector General to have an independent investigation done of NASA’s leader’s management of both the SLS and Orion MPCV program. The COTS partners SpaceX and Orbital Sciences are just under 2 years late of where they should be under COTS, even with an extra $236 million paid to both.

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