Tuesday, December 29, 2009
United States Lagging in Rocket Propulsion
The White House Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy submitted to the Congress on December 22, 2009 a 14-page report on the "capacity of the United States industrial base for development and production to meet" the nation's demand for space launch vehicles. The report was signed by John P. Holdren, the President's Science Advisor.
According to the report released: "Despite the importance of space to government and commercial activities the U.S. space launch industry has seen a decline in launch services over the past decade . . . From 2004-2008 the U.S. shared of commercial launches was about 17 percent, compared with 42 percent for Russia, 21 percent for Europe and 18 percent for the multi-national company SeaLaunch." [Video is of SpaceX Falcon 9 ground test in 2008.]