The Coalition for Space Exploration enthusiastically congratulates NASA and the entire Orion Team for this important step in moving the Vision for Space Exploration forward. For the nation, it is a critical step toward ensuring our continued human access to space for the International Space Station and future exploration missions. It is, without question, a wise investment in the future economic and educational competitiveness of our country. Project Orion will stimulate a new generation of students and explorers to dream of and do great things. NASA is on the right track.

Other Coalition supporters also provide comment:

Captain Eugene Cernan, veteran of three Apollo space flights, last man to walk on the moon

“The announcement demonstrates concrete progress is being made with the Vision for Space Exploration. It won’t be long before construction begins, which means job security for thousands across the country … money not spent in space but on Earth to help keep our economy strong. The money spent on the Vision becomes an investment in our future — the benefits coming in the form of new technology, medical advances, consumer products and, most importantly in my opinion, education.”

Captain James Lovell, commander of historic Apollo XIII mission, veteran of two Apollo missions

“The hallmark of this announcement in our space program is that it will positively affect every single American. We can’t deny the tangible benefits space brings to the table. It’s a long roster — more than 1,500 documented products — all derived from space technology. Fire fighters use drastically improved fire-retardant gear. Meteorologists depend on enhanced weather- forecasting tools. We sleep in homes equipped with smoke alarms developed in the Apollo program. The list goes on. And on.”

Dr. Rhea Seddon, veteran of three shuttle flights, assistant chief medical officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group

“At a time when our nation is faced with so many urgent issues that compete annually for our national resources, many Americans are wondering, ‘What’s the point?’ The point is that a major national initiative like this has never been more important than it is right now. Our world leadership and economic security are being globally challenged while our way of life is depleting the known natural resources of our planet. Space exploration is a critical tool in winning these battles for our country and for the sake of future generations.”