Space, the Dormant Frontier: Changing the Paradigm for the 21st Century

By Joan Johnson-Freese; Roger Handberg | Go to book overview

CONCLUSIONS

Paying more than $4,000 per pound to orbit effectively keeps space a restricted, elite government activity where the costs and risks for commercial development beyond communication satellites are effectively limited. Even within the government sphere the cost of the shuttle's marching army of engineers and Titan's custom-build-it-on-the-pad requirements strangles the ability to take on new initiatives. It is, however, a situation with which many people are happy, and therefore actively work to perpetuate. Yet it is one that can be changed, unlike some others. Space offers opportunities. The American public must act to take up the challenge. The purpose of this book is to make those people comfortable with this current situation at least a little uncomfortable and to challenge the American people to adopt a new way of thinking.


NOTES
1.
Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolution ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963), 67-68.
2.
The problems resultant from the intertwining of public policy and symbolic activities to represent ideals are explored by Arthur M. Hingerty, "Human Space Exploration: Justifications and U.S. Space Policy," paper presented at SPACE V, Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 1996, in Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Space '96, Stewart W. Johnson, ed., 126- 132.
3.
Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Accident, 6 June 1986, Washington, DC.
4.
The Apollo pad fire generated criticism, but NASA was allowed to "fix itself." The faith required in the agency for that action no longer existed after Challenger. By the end of the public testimony phase of the Rogers Commission investigation, the agency's credibility and technical competence was at stake. Diane Vaughan, The Challenger Launch Decision ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), Chapter 1.
5.
These challenges to the agency began with such pieces as Howard Banks, "It's Time to Bust Up NASA" Forbes ( 8 February 1988) and continue through such videos as the 1994 Arts and Entertainment Television's "Can We Still Trust NASA," with a multitude of others in between and since.
6.
32nd AAS Goddard Memorial Symposium, Civil Space in the Clinton Era, March 1994, Washington, DC. Panel entitled "A National Strategic Plan for Space."
7.
Andrew Chaikin, A Man on the Moon ( New York: Viking, 1994), 544-551.
8.
Walter McDougall, . . . the Heavens and the Earth ( New York: Basic Books, 1985), 421-422.
9.
David E. Lupton, On Space Warfare (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 1988).
10.
General Henry Viccellio, Space Systems in the Cockpit . . . and Beyond, 1-2. Speech presented at the US Air Force Academy, July 1994.
11.
See Jean Jacque S. Servan-Schreiber, The American Challenge ( New

-29-

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Space, the Dormant Frontier: Changing the Paradigm for the 21st Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Acronyms ix
  • I - THE BIG PICTURE 1
  • 1 - Repackaging the Dream 3
  • Notes 29
  • 2 - Policy Overview: If You Don't Care Where You'Re Going, Any Road Will Take You There 33
  • Notes 62
  • II - THE SITUATION 67
  • 3 - Space As a Government Domain 69
  • Notes 91
  • 4 - History As Inertia 95
  • Notes 120
  • 5 - The Economics of Space, Breaking the Dependency Cycle 123
  • Notes 146
  • III - THE OPPORTUNITY 149
  • 6 - Semidesperate Times 151
  • Notes 177
  • 7 - Seeking New Opportunities 181
  • Notes 204
  • IV - The Method 209
  • 8 - Convergence: Merging the Space Technology Bases 211
  • Notes 225
  • 9 - Change the Paradigm: Incorporate Politics and Emphasize Economics 229
  • Notes 246
  • 10 - A Parallel Development Plan 249
  • Notes 264
  • Selected Bibliography 267
  • Index 271
  • About the Authors 278
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