United States Space Policy: Challenges and Opportunities Gone Astray

United States Space Policy: Challenges and Opportunities Gone Astray

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United States Space Policy: Challenges and Opportunities Gone Astray is the seventh paper in this series, updating the 2005 publication by the same authors. It warns of serious misalignment of the purposes, operating principles, and resources of the U.S. space program. It notes that the announced intention to send manned missions to the moon and to Mars as virtually exclusive national ventures has not been adequately financed. As a result, most of NASA's activities are being redirected to those specific purposes, thereby jeopardizing its broader historical functions without assuring that the projected missions can in fact be accomplished. The paper recommends a significant rebalancing of priorities to support the international space station, to extend shuttle missions through 2015, and to continue NASA's traditional support for basic science and aeronautical engineering. It updates the 2005 assessment of impediments to a well-balanced space program, noting that export-control policies, decline in the science and engineering workforce, the state of mission planning, and the degree of international cooperation have all become more serious problems. Overall it provides an urgent appeal for fundamental reconsideration.
Citation: Abbey, George; Lane, Neal. United States Space Policy: Challenges and Opportunities Gone Astray (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2009)
Program: International Peace and Security