Leading space organizations presented a white paper to the federal government March 4 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to outline the importance of continuing public-private partnerships and funding to allow space research, leadership and protection.

The five-page paper, “Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space,” was produced by a coalition of 13 representatives from organizations such as the Space Foundation (headquartered in Colorado Springs), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

Addressed to the next administration and congress, the paper says that for almost 60 years, these investments enable a $330 billion global space industry to create employment annually for thousands of Americans, further new technologies, advance national security, extend global communication networks and support Americans’ education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The paper also lays out challenges and policy recommendations for space programs such as committing to new missions, continuing to promote science, technology, engineering and math classes, and reducing barriers to international trade.

The paper calls for the government to take action regarding needs in civil, commercial, national security space because it believes “the space environment is critical to the nation’s vital interests.”

Read the paper online at ensuringspace.org.