posted on Mar, 24 2004 @ 04:32 PM
NASA must look to private space enterprises for support in future exploration missions, a panel of aerospace professionals and researchers told the
President's Commission for the Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy on Wednesday.
In a hearing before the commission tasked with shaping NASA's exploration aims, space entrepreneurs encouraged commissioners to embrace private
access-to-space efforts and contests, such as the $10 million X Prize competition to spur interest in space travel.
"The government can capture the passion of space through the entrepreneur market," said Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of ZeroGravity Corp., an
effort to privatize low gravity airplane flights. Diamandis also heads the X Prize contest, which calls for teams to build their own reuseable, manned
spacecraft, and lauded NASA's recent commitment to cash prizes under its Centennial Challenges program.
The commission was appointed by President George W. Bush to gather information and make suggestions on how NASA can best fulfill the space vision of
returning human astronauts to the moon, Mars and beyond.
This week's meeting, which concludes March 25, marked the start of the third of five sessions to be held across the country until May, when
commissioners will deliver their recommendations to the President. It is being held at the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology