“Many young people today with a technical bent are more entranced with the Internet or biotechnology than space exploration. Space travel, after all, was a fascination of their parents’ generation,” noted a February 2003 Wall Street Journal article on recruiting challenges confronting NASA.
With its many education-dependent career tracks, the space industry is an end user of America’s K-12 system. The problem is that the U.S. education system is not producing students in quantity and at a level of achievement to be globally competitive. Reforms such as the No Child Left Behind Act are important initiatives for the nation’s school children but, to date, have produced improvements that fall short of space industry needs.