Boeing CTO John Tracy testifies at a Senate hearing on the global competitiveness of the U.S. aviation industry. Photo via U.S. Senate
A top Boeing executive is urging Congress to increase the budget for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Boeing Chief Technology Officer John Tracy said in a Senate hearing that NASA’s shrinking budget hurts the company’s ability to develop new products.
He says Boeing relies on NASA to research everything from unmanned aerial vehicles to composite materials used in airplanes. And, the European Union is outspending the U.S. by ten to one.
Tracy also told the Senate panel that spending less on NASA means fewer young people will go into aerospace careers.
“I for instance was inspired to become an engineer because of a NASA flight demonstration program called the X-15 that I saw when I was five years old," Tracy said. "It's those NASA big-picture things that young people can see and be inspired by that really are the key to our future generations developing interest in this area.”
President Obama has requested a 4 percent decrease in NASA’s budget compared with two years ago.
Aerospace industry executives also urged Senators to reinstate a tax credit for research and development that expired at the end of last year. They say foreign countries offer bigger tax breaks, meaning more companies will shift R&D work overseas.
On the Web:
John Tracy's testimony:
Video: Senate hearing:
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network