An Aerospace Nation
Air Force Research Institute Maxwell AFB United States
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Aerospace is deeply connected to US identityits power and place in the world. Progress in aerospace opened doors to new methods of travel, economic prosperity, and the means to shelter and defend the nation. However, the rapid development of aerospace power was not something left to chance. Such an achievement was a national priorityone that called together all aspects of American society. Military experts worked closely with civilian engineers to refine requirements academics contributed to designs, while machinists worked with designers. This kind of collaboration formed the United States as an aerospace nation, and aerospace industries remain critical to the US economy, the American people, and the American way of life. Now is the time to consider a short historical view of the impact aerospace has had on the United States and also to warn about the costs of neglect. More importantly, the nation must have a new vision for the future of aerospace.