ORLANDO, FL - Next Step In Space, a coalition of more than thirty businesses and organizations dedicated to scientific advancement and increased understanding of the Earth and our solar system through expanded human space flight, has announced their support for NASA’s new strategy for space exploration.

President Obama outlined an ambitious effort to foster the development of path-breaking technologies; increase the number, scope, and pace of manned and unmanned space missions; make human spaceflight safer and more efficient; and help create thousands of jobs. Included in his vision for NASA is a sequence of deep-space destinations matched to growing capabilities, progressing step-by-step until we are able to reach Mars.

The president stated that his administration is committed to a bold, new approach to human spaceflight, and is increasing the NASA budget by $6 billion over the next five years in order to embark on this ambitious strategy that will foster the development of path-breaking technologies, increase the reach and reduce the cost of human spaceflight, and help create thousands of new jobs.

He pointed out that this new strategy means more money for NASA, more jobs for the country, more astronaut time in space, and more investments in innovation. It will result in a longer operating lifetime for the International Space Station, new launch capabilities becoming available sooner, and a fundamentally more ambitious space strategy to take us to an increased number of destinations and to new frontiers in space. By undertaking this strategy, we will no longer rely on our past achievements, and instead embrace a new and bold course of innovation and discovery.

"Commercial space exploration is a supplemental avenue to increase innovation and participation in NASA's incredibly valuable work," says Tiffany Montague, of Google Inc. "There is room for both private and governmental entities in space, and this new proposal will allow NASA to focus on long term planning while lowering costs and opening space to a new generation of entrepreneurs and explorers."