“The 20th century will forever be remembered as the time when we put a man on the moon. Together, we must work to ensure that the 21st Century is the time when we reach even further into our solar system, and beyond it; a time when we reap profound new insights into our own world – from the first light that illuminated the universe, to the forces affecting our global environment in the present day.” – Al Gore

America’s space program improves the quality of our lives, each and every day, through weather forecasting and environmental monitoring. America’s space infrastructure is vital to the new economy, enabling the use of pagers, bank ATMs, and credit cards virtually anywhere. Government investment in space technology is a smart investment in our economic future and our national security. Space is a catalyst for today’s high-tech economy for which we are reaping the rewards of our nation’s space program. As a result of this investment, America leads the world in the commercial use of space, which has tripled over the past decade to over $80 billion in revenue this year. At the same time, our nation’s space program is also a cornerstone of our national security, providing information superiority to our leaders and our troops.

As a Senator and Vice President, Al Gore has been a strong voice for leadership and direction in America’s space program. In light of its importance to the economic and national security of the United States, Al Gore has played a leading role in defining a new direction for the United States in space, ensuring that America moves into the 21st century with a strong, stable, and balanced national space program. Al Gore strongly believes that space is a long-term investment in America’s future, expanding humanity’s reach into the universe, improving our daily lives, protecting the environment, and educating America’s children.

Al Gore has a bold vision for America’s space program which will:

  • Extend humanity’s reach into the solar system and the universe by completing the International Space Station as an orbiting laboratory for medical research and learning how to live in space; continuing robotic exploration of Mars to enhance our understanding of whether water or even life existed there; reaching beyond Mars to search for life beneath the icy crust of Jupiter’s moon Europa; and searching for planets similar to Earth outside our solar system and for evidence of other life in the cosmos.

  • Tap into the full potential of space as a center of economic activity by facilitating private sector investment in space-related activities through government incentives, innovative public-private partnerships, and commercial use of the International Space Station. Central to this goal is investing in next-generation reusable space transportation technology to reduce the cost of access to space and open new opportunities in space for the commercial, civil and national security sectors. As Joe Lieberman has advocated, after taking office, President Gore will appoint a Presidential Commission to study the future of the United States aerospace industry in the global economy, reexamining export policies to permit access to global markets while protecting national security.

  • Continue efforts to create a Global Environmental Monitoring system that will improve our ability to predict weather, react to natural disasters and understand the Earth’s ecosystem. Space offers a unique vantage point from which to understand the pace of global change, the role society plays in that change, and ways to counteract its negative effects.

  • Enhance Opportunities in Space for K-12 students through innovative programs connecting classrooms and students through the Internet with experiments aboard the International Space Station and scientific missions to the planets. Al Gore recognizes that investment in America’s space program is an investment in the scientific and technical education of our children.