Leading the world in space exploration
National Space Council Event
October 5, 2017
Good Morning, Mr. Vice President, distinguished guests, industry colleagues and fellow panelists.
I want to begin by thanking you, Mr. Vice President, for reconstituting the National Space Council. It’s a big step for our country, an important one. And I believe government, industry and academia can work together to discuss how to co-author the next chapter of American leadership in space.
Boeing employees around the globe strive every day to deliver on our inspirational purpose and mission to connect, protect, explore and inspire the world through aerospace innovation. Our aim is to lead the world in space exploration, and to be a global champion for robust funding, advocacy, talent and execution in both the civilian and military space arenas.
We are drawn to exploring the unknown and unraveling the universe’s greatest mysteries. It is this innate fascination with what comes next that has inspired us to join with NASA and international partners in a shared mission that has, over the course of decades, celebrated lunar footsteps, space shuttle launches and the assembly of the International Space Station, to name a few.
While proud of our past, we are focused on the future. We continue to innovate and lead in every aspect of civil space operations. For example, NASA’s Space Launch System, built by Boeing and our teammates, will be the largest and most powerful rocket ever built, propelling the Orion capsule, and humanity, further into the solar system than ever before. And our CST-100 Starliner—launched on the 100 percent mission successful United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket—will return American astronauts to space on an American-built capsule in the not-too-distant future.
While others may dream, we actually do, and we do with the resources and expertise to deliver on our commitments. Working together, we will help humankind explore deep space and play a leadership role in America’s journey to Mars as well as revolutionize launch and space-access through our pioneering work on the X-37B and XS-1 Phantom Express with the U.S. Air Force and DARPA. We also are delivering advanced military space solutions such as our Wideband Global SATCOM satellites that provide critical anywhere-anytime communications for troops around the globe, including those deployed in combat.
But our collective success on this unprecedented journey is not guaranteed. Everyone in this room—government and industry alike—must commit to fighting for American leadership in space.
We believe the aerospace industry has an important role to play in partnering with the government to enact policies that not only will advance our efforts in space but also will grow the economy and support American jobs, with an emphasis on restoring U.S. manufacturing. That’s why I continue to engage on behalf of Boeing in arenas like this and as chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association, a trade association representing the U.S. aerospace and defense industry where we are engaged on Capitol Hill, with the administration and internationally.
As America’s largest manufacturing exporter, we’re a big part of the $80-billion-a-year favorable trade balance that the U.S. aerospace sector injects into the nation’s economy. In addition to the roughly 140,000 employees who work directly for The Boeing Company across the country, our supply chain of thousands of medium and small businesses in all 50 states supports an additional 1.3 million American jobs. Consider the tremendous ripple effect that our industry has on the nation, boosting economies and spurring innovation in new technologies.
As a company and an industry, we remain committed to investing in our future—from driving innovation to supporting quality jobs and capital investments—and working with the administration to advance policies, such as comprehensive tax reform, that will enable it.
Continued space exploration will take resources and cooperation. We must commit to an uninterrupted human presence in orbit and accelerate our momentum toward deep space. All too often, when America withdraws, other nations fill the void. We want the United States to retain its leadership position, and build on the progress and substantial investments that have been made in recent years.
I am inspired by the boundless opportunity we have before us.
Space has a near-universal ability to capture our imagination unlike anything else; to energize dreamers and doers alike.
Achievements in space can unite a nation and it’s a proud reminder that we can accomplish amazing things as a country when we work together.
In that spirit, I call upon the National Space Council to set a bold national space agenda—with clear, actionable objectives and resources to match—that will help the United States maintain its technological edge, engage and grow future talent critical to our competitive advantage, and it will excite and inspire generations of Americans to come.
In closing, Robert Gilruth, the first director of NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center, said that one fundamental requirement for mission success was employing "the kind of people who will not permit it to fail.”
Vice President Pence and members of the National Space Council, we are those people, and you have our full commitment as The Boeing Company and our teammates to ensure we will succeed in this important endeavor.
Boeing will be there, leading, every step of the way.