Continued from page 1

c And the inherent robustness that comes with having a diverse suite of U.S. manned spaceflight systems to access space.

It is only by freeing up NASA from routine human transport to low-Earth orbit that we can afford to once again see American astronauts exploring distant worlds.

For this reason, if Congress doesn’t adopt the administration’s more economical, commercial crew to low-Earth orbit strategy, there is little chance we - rather than the Chinese, Russians and Indians - will be exploring worlds and making history in space in the future.

What are we waiting for?

S. Alan Stern, NASA’s former associate administrator in charge of science, is the chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s Suborbital Applications Researchers Group.