Fri, Dec 19, 2008
Says "Short-Term" Economic Problems Shouldn't Cloud
The Aerospace Industries Association, which lobbies for
aerospace contractors, is invoking a classic tactic to pressure the
incoming Obama administration to maintain spending in its sector.
Former FAA Administrator and current AIA President Marion Blakey
told the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington we
might soon have company on the surface of the Moon.
Noting recent lunar missions by China and India in recent
months, Blakey commented, "It has been a long time since we've had
anyone breathing down our necks. Now we do. The idea that the next
boots on the moon are probably going to be Chinese is something
that the public has not realized."
The last man to walk on the moon was US Apollo astronaut Gene
Cernan in 1972. Most of the contractors who built the hardware for
the Apollo missions are still in business, and members of AIA.
Arguing for a long-term perspective, Blakey dismissed the
current economic recession as an excuse for curtailing or delaying
spending in aerospace. "I do not believe the American people will
trade off the importance of exploring what clearly is the next
frontier in the middle of short-term economic duress," she
The association adds aerospace supports more than two million
well-paid jobs in all 50 United States.
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