Submission from the Space Foundation
1. Great Britain's historic investment in
the Admiralty made her both prosperous and a leader among nations.
Today a new age of space admiralty is upon us, and Great
Britain's investment in space assets and capabilities are key
to it remaining a vibrant and innovative nation. Space is the
foremost medium for obtaining national means and capability across
the full spectrum of civil, commercial and national security operations
of government. Great Britain's peers, allies and competitors recognise
this fact and continue to invest in space capabilities to position
themselves for the future.
2. A strong space policy for Great Britain
does not always or necessarily have to mean direct funding of
programmes from tax receipts. The government can do many things,
from collaborating with other nations to promoting private investment
in space. By offering tax incentives and streamlining regulatory
jurisdiction over the space industry, government can be responsive
to the needs of the existing space industry as well as the emerging
entrepreneurial space community. It is noteworthy that within
this emerging entrepreneurial space community, Great Britain is
already a leader in certain niche sectorsfor example via
the innovation of Surrey Satellite with its world-class small
satellite programmes, or the efforts of Sir Richard Branson, who
has established Virgin Galactic as a pioneer in commercial space
3. In addition to providing high-wage, high-skill
jobs for the British workforce, vibrant space activities can assure
Great Britain a leadership role in such emerging sectors as nanotechnology,
biotechnology, information technology and the products and services
that will emerge through the fusion and integration of these economic
drivers of the future.
4. Finally, there is an important humanistic
and social aspect to Great Britain's space policy. Dating back
to the time of Stonehenge and perhaps even earlier, Britons looked
to the stars and sought to understand the fundamental questions
of human existence. This desire for answers to fundamental existential
questions continues to drive scientific inquiry, most especially
and particularly in space. These activities in turn captivate
the imagination, and inspire and propel young people throughout
the world to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
(the "STEM" disciplines). In the innovation and technology-driven
economies of the future, competitive nations will be defined by
a workforce steeped in STEM education. Space is unmatched in its
ability to capture the imaginations and excite the minds of today's
youth, tomorrow's citizen.
ELLIOT G PULHAM
5. Elliot Pulham was named President and
Chief Executive Officer of the Space Foundation 16 January 2001,
and leads this globally respected non-profit organisation in the
pursuit of its mission:
6. To vigorously advance civil, commercial
and national security space endeavours and inspire, enable and
propel tomorrow's explorers.
7. Pulham leads the premier team of space,
education, research and policy professionals providing services
to educators and students, government officials, the news media
and the space industry around the world. The Space Foundation
is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has offices
in Washington, DC, Cape Canaveral, Florida and Houston, Texas.
8. Mr Pulham brings national award-winning
experience to a Foundation focused on creating public awareness
and support for space endeavours, and on using the excitement
of space to inspire academic achievement. Prior to joining the
Foundation, he was for a decade senior manager of public relations,
employee communication and advertising for all space programmes
of The Boeing Company. As such he served as spokesperson at the
Kennedy Space Center for a half-dozen space shuttle flights, including
the Magellan, Galileo and Ulysses interplanetary missions. He
is a holder of the coveted Silver Anvil Award from the Public
Relations Society of Americathe profession's highest honour.
In 2003 the Rotary National Awards for Space Achievement Foundation
presented him with the rarely conveyed Space Communicator Award,
an honor he shares with legendary CBS News Anchor Walter Cronkite
and CNN News Anchor Miles O'Brien. Mr Pulham is a Lifetime Member
of Strathmore's Who's Who.
9. Mr. Pulham is widely quoted by national,
international and trade media in their coverage of space activities
and space-related issues, and his monthly column Space Watch:
The View from Here enjoys a global industry audience. His
non-profit experience includes having been Executive Director
of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, and Director of Corporate
Communication for the Boeing Employees Good Neighbor Fund. Of
part-Hawaiian ancestry, he is a 1973 graduate of the Kamehameha
Schools and an alumnus of the University of Hawaii. Mr Pulham
and his wife, Cynthia, are annual underwriters of the Lucy Enos
Memorial Scholarship for Teachers which, through educator professional
development, serves children of Hawaiian and part-Hawaiian ancestry.
10. Mr Pulham is a member of the national
board of advisors of the RNASA Foundation, a member of the board
of advisors of the National Institute for Space & Security
Studies and a member of the Chief of Staff of the US Air Force
Civic Leader Advisory Group. A resident of Colorado Springs, he
lives in Pinon Valley with his wife, Cynthia, and son, William.
He is an avid downhill skier and motorcycling enthusiast, and
spends his spare time outdoors in the Colorado Rockies and, whenever
possible, in his native Hawaii.
11. The Space Foundation was founded 21
March 1983, "to foster, develop and promote, among the citizens
of the United States of America and among other people of the
world... a greater understanding and awareness... of the practical
and theoretical utilisation of space... for the benefit of civilisation
and the fostering of a peaceful and prosperous world." As
a not-for-profit corporation working for the public good, the
Space Foundation is granted tax-exempt status by the US government.
It has its headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado and additional
offices in Washington, DC, Cape Canaveral, Florida and Houston,
12. As the global space community has evolved,
so has the Space Foundationembracing all facets of spacecommercial
(including telecommunications and other satellite-based services),
civil, and national security. In fact, the Foundation is one of
few "ecumenical" space-related organisations to embrace
the totality of this community rather than focusing on a narrowly
defined niche. This breadth of experience includes its long-standing
service as part of the United States delegation to the United
Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and its
collaboration in Great Britain with the Society of British Aerospace
Companies and its United Kingdom Industrial Space Committeeas
well as past collaboration with the British National Space Council.
13. In the 23 years since its founding,
the Space Foundation has become one of the world's premier nonprofit
organisations supporting space activities, space professionals
and education. Its accredited education programs have provided
transformational training for more than 30,000 teachers in all
50 US states and several foreign nations. Another 20,000 teachers
world-wide are currently registered users of the Foundation's
on-line curriculum and more than 100 have obtained their Masters
Degree in Curriculum and Instruction-Space Specialist through
the Foundation. The organisation conducts two of the top three
conferences for space professionals anywhere in the world today:
Strategic Space and Defense is focused on the national security
space and other strategic programmes of the US and its allies,
and held in support of United States Strategic Command in Omaha,
Nebraska. The premier annual space conference in the world is
the Space Foundation's renowned National Space Symposium, which
each April attracts nearly 8,000 space professionals from the
highest levels of government, industry and academia from around
the world to Colorado Springs.
14. Chairman Willis and all esteemed members
of this important committee, on behalf of the Space Foundation
and its Board of Directors, I thank you for the opportunity to
present testimony that I hope will be of value as you commence
this inquiry. I thank you for your time and attention, as well
as commend you for the timeliness of this most important inquiry.
15. The Timeliness and Framework of this
Your inquiry is indeed timely. In just a few
short weeks, The Space Foundation will release "The Space
Report2006: The Guide to Global Space Activity."
This publication, a product of our research and analysis enterprise,
has been nearly 18 months in the making and will for the first
time establish a gold standard of reference on the breadth, scope,
magnitude, impact and promise of space activities around the world.
Although the report has not yet been released, I am privileged
to share with you in advance some of its key findings:
16. The total revenues, or turnover, generated
by global space activities in 2005 can be very conservatively
demonstrated to exceed $180 billion US dollars. This is not an
economic impact estimate, but rather a direct measurement of actual
industry revenue. Due to our cautious methodology, this is a very
conservative estimate. Further, due to our own financial limitations,
the Space Foundation was not able to perform new and original
research into certain sectors where we believe significant additional
activity will eventually be revealed.
17. According to the report's newly created
Space Foundation Space Index, which tracks the financial performance
of the space industry according to carefully weighted investment
community measures, the space industry between June 2005 and June
2006 grew more rapidly than, and financially out-performed, both
the NASDAQ and S&P 500 indices.
18. The vast majority of space revenues
are commercially driven and derived. Government investment and
policy serves as a catalyst for the creation of new technologies,
industries and knowledge which private enterprise then transforms
to provide commercial products and services while creating new
19. Our report, when published, will run
more than 200 pages in length and is extremely dense with data.
However, for the purposes of your inquiry, I think these three
top-level findings are very important. They tell us that the global
space industry is very large, growing very rapidly, and transforming
business and industry around the globe at a very rapid pace. Great
Britain should not allow this phenomenon to pass it by.
20. Tradition and Tomorrows
Great Britain has a proud tradition of exploring
the unknown, making technological innovations, and helping the
world understand space. As far back as 1576 when the British mathematician
and astronomer Thomas Digges used computations to track the orbits
of the planets as well as the true location of our sun, and continuing
today with British-born astronauts Michael Foale (who has logged
more than 370 days in space) and more recently Piers Sellers who
flew this past summer aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery to the
International Space Station.
21. Modern British involvement in space
is also non-governmental. Helen Sharman was the first non-US,
non-Russian woman in space as well as Britain's first astronaut.
More recently Sir Richard Branson has unveiled his Virgin Galactic
company that will usher in a new era of commercial space travel.
Virgin Galactic's first operating base, as well as the lion's
share of its initial customer market, will be in the United States;
accordingly the Space Foundation is actively engaged at the level
of US policy in encouraging a regulatory environment that will
favour the success of Virgin Galactic.
22. Much of Great Britain's history has
demonstrated that nations thrive when they innovate and explore.
This proposition requires a frontier to push against. Such a tension
leads to all manner of technology benefits that help not only
the pioneers themselves, but eventually ripple out to benefit
all humanity. Since the dawning of the Space Age, the lives of
humans the world over changed by the knowledge, technology, products,
services, inspiration and hope that have come from the exploration
of this final, limitless frontier.
23. I commend your committee for the timeliness
of your inquiry. NASA has been given a new mandate to break the
bonds of low Earth orbit and return to the Moon (this time, to
stay) and to press on to Mars and other destinations within our
solar system. The US Department of Defense has seen an ever increasing
utility and value in how space assets aid our men and women in
uniform. GoogleTM has helped make commercial remote sensing capabilities
a common utility accessible to all. GPS provides the world with
free and precise navigation and timing signals. Satellites provide
television and radio services around the globe, to even the most
remote locations, offering a rich and diverse set of programming.
A new generation of entrepreneurs is actively developing new ways
of getting people and cargo into space. As measured by revenue,
fully 61% of this activity is commercialnew forms of commerce
that are laying the foundation for the coming age. Knowing our
good and close friends "across the pond" as we do (it
was not mere happenstance that one of our space shuttles was named
"Endeavour") we are certain that Great Britain will
want to be at the forefront of this new age of "space admiralty."
24. What is at hand, and what is therefore
A comprehensive British space policy needs to
take many factors into consideration. This brief testimony can
therefore only touch lightly upon the many realities you must
Great Britain indeed enjoys many strengths in
space. Your national space policy should play to these strengths.
From our perspective, a principal strength is your university
space research programmes. While this historic strength has been
tainted somewhat by the recent failure of the Beagle mission to
Mars, there is recognition that British universities have contributed
consistently to the body of knowledge and state of the art. British
scientists and researchers contribute to satellite technology
and astronomy. These enable the nation to participate in a variety
of international programmes and thereby leverage a comparatively
modest national investment.
26. Another unsung strength is Great Britain's
industrial base, which is highly capable and increasingly organised
around technology clusters that support space. The activities
of the Society of British Aerospace Companies and the United Kingdom
Industrial Space Committee have done much to create opportunities
and a positive impression in the global markets.
The lack of a visible and coherent national
space programme, or well-funded agency, with clear goals, objectives
and means, works against Great Britain in many ways. The British
National Space Center is poorly funded, has a limited area of
responsibility, and does not appear to be in the lead in any particular
area. You cannot point to the "British Space Programme"
with the kind of clarity that you can point to the US space programme,
or even the Chinese, Indian, or Japanese space programmes. This
creates a perception that the United Kingdom is not "in the
28. This posture leads potential investors
to view Great Britain with some scepticism. The industry does
not appear to enjoy much support from government. In Toulouse,
or Bangalore, or San Josespace companies know they'll enjoy
a warm welcome, a relatively favourable business climate, and
strong political support. There is no such sense where Great Britain
There are many great opportunities. The rejuvenated
NASA space exploration programme is going to require international
partners and participants. The small-satellite technologies being
pioneered at Surrey Satellite, if properly supported by government,
could shift the centre-of-gravity for satellite manufacturing
from France and the US to Great Britain. As US defence budgets
come under increasing pressure, there may be opportunities for
Great Britain to develop an indigenous national security space
capability by undertaking specific projects that jointly serve
your Ministry of Defence and our Department of Defense. Our counsel
would be to look at each of the three major sectors of the space
industrycivil space, commercial space, and national security
spaceand identify a core capability that Great Britain
can provide better than anyone else. In addition the nation should
wrap the Union Jack around every innovative space project it canfrom
exported satellites to the space ships of Virgin Galacticand
cement a reputation as a space faring nation.
The perception that Great Britain is not poised
to compete with the finely tuned and highly focused efforts of
competitor nations is a significant threat, and has been touched
upon previously in this testimony.
31. Beyond that perception, we believe the
single biggest threat to your ability to grow the British space
economy comes, regrettably, from United States export control
policy. Since the imposition of strict space and satellite export
control regimes by the United States, companies in both countries
have been injured. Close business associates are no longer able
to speak with one another. Technologies that once flowed freely
between the US and the UK have been fenced off. Companies that
once routinely did business with each other have become isolated
from one another and, in some cases, have closed their doors.
US industry, because of financial self-interest in the outcome,
has been ineffective in arguing for meaningful reform. We believe
that high-level government-to-government discussions are in order,
and that US policymakers would be receptive to hearing these concerns
from a most trusted friend and ally like Great Britain.
32. In summary, the Space Foundation would
once again like to thank Chairman Willis and all esteemed members
of this committee for their vision and the time and attention
that you are giving to this important matter. The economy of the
future is, indeed, the space economy. There are many opportunities
for Great Britain to assume a leadership position in this new
"space admiralty," but the ability to seize those opportunities
will depend upon having a solid framework of a well-crafted national
space policy in place. We in the United States have been, and
ever shall be, your friends. We look forward to strengthening
these bonds of friendship. If the Space Foundation can further
assist you in any way, we stand at the ready.