Space Foundation Reacts to NASA Announcement
On March 13, NASA announced its intent to withdraw from the global space community by not participating in the 29th National Space Symposium. This marks the first time in 29 years that NASA has so isolated itself.
In a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham wrote, "While we all appreciate the extreme pressures that NASA and other federal agencies are operating under at the moment, we were shocked with disbelief to find the 29th National Space Symposium named specifically as not meeting your new criteria for agency participation in conferences. The Space Symposium is the largest annual gathering of the global space community anywhere in the world, and meets your criteria more strongly than any other event. If the Space Symposium does not meet your criteria, then neither does any other conference in the world."
Further, Pulham wrote to Bolden, "The Space Foundation builds more value into the Space Symposium than any other event in the world. NASA should be holding us up as the standard toward which all other conference organizers should aspire."
The Space Foundation, which was not consulted by NASA on this decision, is protesting this decision in the strongest possible terms.