Air Date

May 12, 2021

Featured Guest

Jim Andrew
Executive Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer, PepsiCo


Christian Zur
Former Executive Director, Procurement and Space Industry Council

Eric Cantor
Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Moelis & Company


After staying grounded for many years, America is finally returning to the moon through the Artemis program. The Artemis program is the United States-based space flight program that aims to put the first woman and first person of color on the moon by 2024.

This mission aims to use innovative and sustainable technologies to get humanity back on the moon and enhance both our scientific and space exploration. In a conversation with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce, experts and professionals share four ways the Artemis Program will impact the economy and industry in the United States.

Spending for Space Exploration Makes Our Country and Planet Stronger

Critics of space programs sometimes question why taxpayers should spend their money on space exploration when there are significant domestic issues to handle. Bob Cabana has heard these criticisms before. As the director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center, the launch site for the Artemis I mission, Cabana knows that it's best to have the longest view in the room when it comes to space exploration.

“The science we're doing on the International Space Station is absolutely amazing,” he said. “We need to establish a presence in our solar system beyond our home planet. It is going to be crucial if we are going to survive. Who knows what's going to happen someday? That big asteroid might come that took out the dinosaurs and ... we’ve got to be ready for it.”

Artemis and Other Space Programs Have a Major Impact on Local and State Communities

The Artemis Program and other space programs are also important because of their impact on local and state communities. Bill Posey, the U.S. Representative for Florida's space coast, advocates for these programs because he knows they don't just impact the communities in which they reside but remain beneficial as a global resource.

“It's important to our national security first and foremost,” said Posey. “Number two, it's important to our technological advancement; number three, it's important to our economy; and number four, it's important to the ultimate survival of our species.”

“Our space program provides so many modern-day conveniences and comforts and necessities as we come to know them today,” Posey continued. “Without the satellite system that we have, we could be thrown back into the dark ages. We just barely escaped a couple of years ago…a huge solar flare unanticipated crossed the path of our orbit a week before we got there… We would have been back in the stone age — no laptops, no cell phones, no groceries, no gasoline.”

Space Programs Value Small Businesses as Essential Partners

NASA’s space programs aren't built by large corporations but built on the backs of small businesses who remain essential partners in these programs.

“Small businesses are the heart of our nation's economy, and with NASA giving more than 85% of its budget in procurements, small businesses are really at the heart of the Artemis Program,” said Janet Petro, deputy director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

“Two-thirds of the suppliers for the rocket itself come from small businesses. It's about 800 supplier companies across 53 states. And our most recent data from the Small Business Administration shows that NASA provides about $2.8 billion a year directly to small businesses.”

The Artemis Program’s Goals Bring the Goal of Getting to Mars Closer

One of the Artemis Program goals is to set up science and research centers on the moon. In doing this, NASA creates sustainable stations that make space exploration easier and put the goal of getting the first human on Mars within reach.

“Our goal is to go to the moon, to set it up in a sustainable way and learn what we need to know because the moon is a stepping stone to Mars,” said Cabana. “Mars is the ultimate destination. So I see us hopefully having a sustainable presence on the moon in the late 2020s.”

From the Series