The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson on National Aerospace Week, hosted by Aerospace Industries Sept. 13-17. This week recognizes innovations from aerospace manufacturers, suppliers, and workforce.

“As we mark the 11th anniversary of National Aerospace Week, the Biden-Harris Administration and NASA commemorate the U.S. aerospace and defense community’s innovative history and recognizes the industry’s role to build back better.

“The story of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry is one of overcoming what was once thought to be impossible, from aircraft that connect the world to the technological breakthroughs that allow Americans to explore the heavens. The partnership between government and industry makes these achievements possible and creates a relentless spirit of American ingenuity.

“Today, technologies once developed in NASA’s facilities are used in every U.S. aircraft – commercial and military – and every air traffic control facility, to keep the crowded skies safe. Today, technologies developed to power America to the Moon under Apollo are used by industries across the world to help make spaceflight more accessible. Today, the technology spinoffs we enjoy each day can be attributed to our investment in aerospace and defense. And soon NASA and its partners will return astronauts to the Moon including the first woman and first person of color under Artemis. These missions will help prepare America for humanity’s next giant leap – sending astronauts to explore Mars, and the nation will again reap the benefits of our investment in aerospace. 

“In an era where nations are striving to invest more than us, the greatest secret in our playbook that can outcompete anyone or any country is the American worker. The crown jewel of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry is our unmatched workforce, made up of more than two million American workers. These are jobs that let Americans do more than get by, they help our workers get ahead with salaries and benefits more than 40% higher than the national average. When we invest in this industry, we create good-paying jobs and build back better, growing an economy from the bottom up and from the middle out.

“This highly skilled workforce demonstrates America leads not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. The aerospace industry is confronting the growing threat of climate change. Right now, NASA is partnering with industry, academia, and other federal agencies through the Sustainable Flight National Partnership to meet the aviation community’s aggressive international carbon reduction goals. The iconic centerpiece of this partnership will be a full-scale technology demonstrator X-plane built to test an ultra-efficient aerodynamic design and possibly other new technologies. Technological ingenuity and environmental sustainability are not mutually exclusive. They’re vital to America’s future.

“The Biden-Harris Administration, NASA, and the aerospace and defense industry also share a commitment to preparing tomorrow’s workforce today. Students have returned to classrooms and college campuses across America. Together, we are making sure a quality education – especially a STEM education – is accessible for all students.

“The future is going to be determined by the best minds in the world, by those who break through new barriers. It has never been a good bet to bet against America. The aerospace and defense industry proves that. Nothing is beyond our capacity when we are unified. We are working again. We are dreaming again. We are discovering again.”

For information about NASA’s missions, discoveries, and activities, visit: