Article

Public opinion polls and perceptions of US human spaceflight

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

A belief exists in the United States about public support for NASA's human spaceflight activities. Many hold that NASA and the cause of the human exploration of space enjoyed outstanding public support and confidence in the 1960s during the era of Apollo and that public support waned in the post-Apollo era, only to sink to quite low depths in the decade of the 1990s. These beliefs are predicated on anecdotal evidence that should not be discounted, but empirical evidence gleaned from public opinion polling data suggests that some of these conceptions are totally incorrect and others are either incomplete or more nuanced than previously believed. This article explores the evolution of public support for space exploration since the 1960s. Using polling data from a variety of sources it presents trends over time and offers comments on the meaning of public perceptions for the evolution of space policy and the development of space exploration in the United States.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... As Roger Launius has on several occasions noted, there has been and there continues to be a mismatch between, on the one hand, the public's approval of NASA and the space program, and, on the other hand, the public's willingness to support funding increases for space exploration. 11 The public's approval of NASA has always been relatively high. For instance, a series of Gallup polls between 1990 and 2007 asked respondents to "rate the job being done by NASA-the U.S. space agency" as doing either an excellent, good, only fair, or poor job. ...
... 12 More recently, a 2015 Pew Research Survey found that 68% of Americans have a favorable opinion on NASA, with this position positively correlated with education (see Table 2). 13 NASA was not the most highly rated federal agency-that title belongs to the Center for Disease Control, with a 70% 11 See, e.g., (Launius 2003 favorable rating. 14 And as the General Social Surveys (GSS) from between 2008 and 2014 show (see Fig. 2), an average of 67.2% of Americans were either very or moderately interested in space exploration, while an average of 32.1% were not at all interested. ...
... 12 More recently, a 2015 Pew Research Survey found that 68% of Americans have a favorable opinion on NASA, with this position positively correlated with education (see Table 2). 13 NASA was not the most highly rated federal agency-that title belongs to the Center for Disease Control, with a 70% 11 See, e.g., (Launius 2003 favorable rating. 14 And as the General Social Surveys (GSS) from between 2008 and 2014 show (see Fig. 2), an average of 67.2% of Americans were either very or moderately interested in space exploration, while an average of 32.1% were not at all interested. ...
Preprint
To appear in an upcoming astrobiology volume edited by Kelly Smith and Carlos Mariscal.
... Previous research suggests that Americans have a largely favorable opinion of the space program despite not knowing much about it. An average of 68% of Americans agreed with the statement "I approve of America's current civilian space program" in surveys from 1978 to 1997 [3]. More recently, Gallup reported that 60% of Americans surveyed said NASA was doing a good job [4]. ...
... A Gallup poll from May of 1961 shows that only 33% of those surveyed believed that the Apollo program of sending a man to the Moon, was worth the cost [7]. However, decisions to proceed with the program allowed for a competition between the USA and the USSR to exist during the cold war without engaging in military action and thus the government did not need political consensus to continue with the project [3,10]. ...
... One important factor to keep in mind is construct validity, as government spending can be a difficult metric for survey respondents to understand. In 1997, the average estimate of those polled of NASA's share of the federal budget was 20%, as compared to the actual budget of less than 1% [3]. This lack of knowledge is important to keep in mind when evaluating public opinion, since it is likely from the aforementioned statistics that many opinions will be poorly informed ones. ...
... As Roger Launius has on several occasions noted, there has been and there continues to be a mismatch between, on the one hand, the public's approval of NASA and the space program, and, on the other hand, the public's willingness to support funding increases for space exploration. 11 The public's approval of NASA has always been relatively high. For instance, a series of Gallup polls between 1990 and 2007 asked respondents to "rate the job being done by NASA-the U.S. space agency" as doing either an excellent, good, only fair, or poor job. ...
... 12 More recently, a 2015 Pew Research Survey found that 68% of Americans have a favorable opinion on NASA, with this position positively correlated with education (see Table 2). 13 NASA was not the most highly rated federal agency-that title belongs to the Center for Disease Control, with a 70% 11 See, e.g., (Launius 2003). 12 See "Americans Continue to Rate NASA Positively," http://news.gallup.com/poll/102466/americans-continue-rate-nasa-positively.aspx ...
... 12 More recently, a 2015 Pew Research Survey found that 68% of Americans have a favorable opinion on NASA, with this position positively correlated with education (see Table 2). 13 NASA was not the most highly rated federal agency-that title belongs to the Center for Disease Control, with a 70% 11 See, e.g., (Launius 2003). 12 See "Americans Continue to Rate NASA Positively," http://news.gallup.com/poll/102466/americans-continue-rate-nasa-positively.aspx ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter addresses a sociological question that has largely been ignored: How much does the public care about life in space? It argues that there is no clear evidence of widespread support in the United States for the scientific search for extraterrestrial life. First, a comparison with U.S. views on evolution suggests that many religious individuals would be opposed to the search. Second, a comparison with U.S. views on space exploration suggests that a large majority of the public would be unwilling to support increased funding for the search. Finally, a review of existing surveys on the public's views about astrobiology suggests that little is known about how the public frames the search for extraterrestrial life. This makes it difficult to draw any decisive conclusions about the purported universal appeal of astrobiology.
... Yet the public remains overwhelmingly uninformed about both the workings of NASA and the federal budget dedicated to space science. While the majority of Americans rated NASA as doing a "good" or "excellent" job during the space age, fewer than half believed the Apollo program was worth the cost [3]. Most Americans additionally overestimated the budget for NASA as a percentage of the total federal budget, and believed tax dollars could be better spent elsewhere [4]. ...
... Most Americans additionally overestimated the budget for NASA as a percentage of the total federal budget, and believed tax dollars could be better spent elsewhere [4]. As NASA Historian Roger Launius explains, "the American public is notorious for its willingness to support programs in principle but to oppose their funding at levels appropriate to sustain them" [3]. While still generally true, in recent years support by the public has grown markedly more vocal. ...
Article
Public engagement (PE) initiatives can lead to a long term public support of science. However most of the real impact of PE initiatives within the context of long-term science policy is not completely understood. An examination of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) and European Space Agency's (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope, James Webb Space Telescope, and NASA's International Sun/Earth Explorer 3 reveal how large grassroots movements led by citizen scientists and space aficionados can have profound effects on public policy. We explore the role and relevance of public grassroots movements in the policy of space astronomy initiatives, present some recent cases which illustrate policy decisions involving broader interest groups, and consider new avenues of PE including crowdfunding and crowdsourcing.
... Most studies that explore public attitudes to space research do not include astrobiology (see e.g. Launius 2003;Cook et al. 2011;Lee 2015). Some studies have been performed regarding students' knowledge and understanding of facts, theories and concepts in astrobiology (e.g. ...
... The focus on economy indicates that it might be important to explain how relatively little money is actually used in the search for extraterrestrial life. It has been shown that most Americans tend to overestimate NASA's share of the US national budget (Launius 2003;Cook et al. 2011). We have no numbers regarding our respondents' estimation of how much money is spent on the search for extraterrestrial life, but it might be a reasonable assumption that it is skewed in the same direction. ...
Article
The aim of this study is to increase our understanding of the attitudes towards the scientific search for extraterrestrial life among high school and university students in Sweden. The most important results of the analysis are that: (a) the great majority of students believe that extraterrestrial life exists; (b) most students regard searching for extraterrestrial life to be quite important or very important; (c) very few students think that we should actively avoid searching for extraterrestrial life; (d) the most common motive for assigning a high priority to search for extraterrestrial life is that it is interesting, the most common motive for assigning a low priority is that such knowledge would not be practically useful, or that the money would be better spent elsewhere; (e) most students do not think they are very well informed regarding the search for extraterrestrial life. A higher percentage of the students who judge themselves to be well informed also believe that extraterrestrial life exists. We have also found some differences between subgroups (men/women, high school students/university students and different fields of study), but the differences are with few exceptions small in comparison with the overall trends, and they mostly differ in degree rather than direction.
... In responding to a Gallup poll in 1967, just one-third said that they thought it was important to send a human to the Moon before the Soviet Union. 12 Although spending on a Moon mission was not very popular during the 1960s and 1970s, in hindsight, the views of the general public about the Apollo program seem to have become more favorable. When asked to look back in 2009, 71% of the respondents to a CBS News poll said the program had been worth it. ...
... While most Americans did not oppose Apollo per se, they certainly questioned spending on it when social problems seemed more pressing. 12 Since the heyday of Apollo during the 1960s, little has changed in this support for NASA and its space exploration agenda. Many on the political left view spaceflight, too often characterized as the human space program only, as a waste of resources that might be more effectively used to support other good ends. ...
... Most studies that explore public attitudes to space research do not include astrobiology (see e.g. Launius 2003;Cook et al. 2011;Lee 2015). Some studies have been performed regarding students' knowledge and understanding of facts, theories and concepts in astrobiology (e.g. ...
... The focus on economy indicates that it might be important to explain how relatively little money is actually used in the search for extraterrestrial life. It has been shown that most Americans tend to overestimate NASA's share of the US national budget (Launius 2003;Cook et al. 2011). We have no numbers regarding our respondents' estimation of how much money is spent on the search for extraterrestrial life, but it might be a reasonable assumption that it is skewed in the same direction. ...
... Finarelli and Pryke [21] found that American men are more supportive of space exploration than their female counterparts. White males who have high socioeconomic status [22], hold a favorable view of science [23], and are part of the baby boomer generation that grew up during the space age of the 1960s [24] are most likely to support increased funding of space exploration or new initiatives. Ambrosius [25] suggests that members of some religious sects resist contemporary space efforts because of their belief that God uniquely created earth and the life found here. ...
... Aside from one participant who had already spoken with his parents about his dreams to be part of the SpaceX colonization initiative, none of the young people we spoke with could see themselves being part of the first generation of colonists on Mars. Consistent with previous research on public perceptions of space programs [22,24], there was a strong preoccupation with the cost. Unique to this study and private space initiatives, however, is the consideration of personal costs. ...
Article
Elon Musk has sought to position his private aerospace company, SpaceX, as the future of space exploration, even as the feasibility of its initiatives remains to be seen. Although the level of support for public space programs has been well established by previous research, we know less about how people perceive private space travel initiatives, particularly those—like the SpaceX Mars colonization proposal—that involve civilian participation. Today's young people are the first generation who may find themselves or their children deciding whether to leave Earth for another planet. In this study, we compare the case Musk is making for the SpaceX colonization plan to young adults' perceptions of that plan, using data gathered from 81 college students who participated in interviews and focus groups on this topic. We argue that the rhetoric of private space initiatives has the potential to create new visions of our spacefaring future, but also new points of resistance for the civilians needed to support these initiatives. Our analysis revealed doubts regarding feasibility, concerns related to cost, and an individualized sense of risk that outweighed more generalized benefits. We conclude with implications for those seeking public support for private space initiatives, as well as plans for tracking public sentiment regarding private space travel as it changes over time.
... Historically, NASA has considered the public a significant stakeholder in space exploration [8], but generally there is very little detailed information on public values and concerns about space exploration beyond general surveys gauging public support (see Ref. [9] for an exception). According to several polls over the past several decades, support for going to Mars has varied from 40% to 75% of the U.S. population [10][11][12]. One of the most recent polls, the 2103 Mars Generation National Opinion Poll, showed 75% of Americans agreeing that NASA should pursue a human mission to Mars [12]. ...
... Surveys can involve several thousand people in a way that can allow for quantifying uncertainty about broad areas of interest (e.g., support for NASA, funding, should we go to Mars, etc. see Refs. [10,11,18]) or specific opinions about general programmatic decisions (e.g., human vs. robotic exploration of Mars, see Mars Generation Survey [12]), however, it can be difficult or impossible to provide any significant educational component that ensures a more informed, nuanced input from participants about specific programmatic decisions as we have shown here [11,19]. Moreover, the types of data that one receives in a survey can be limited, usually derived from multiple choice or text responses, and doesn't involve the participant having to engage with others from diverse backgrounds. ...
Article
Public support and interest are needed to design an ambitious human spaceflight program. However, it is difficult to understand what the public values and would support. And it is even more challenging and rare to consider public views prior to actually developing a mission. Participatory technology assessment (pTA) is a method that aims to understand public preferences and values in order to inform upstream government decision-making. We assess a recently completed experiment in pTA, the "Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative" project. Through a cooperative agreement with NASA, the Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology (ECAST) network conducted a pTA-based forum on NASA's Asteroid Initiative and the Journey to Mars. ECAST organized two citizen forums in Phoenix, Arizona and Boston, Massachusetts in November 2014, with a total of 183 citizens selected so as to minimize self-selection biases. This paper focuses on the "Journey to Mars" session, which had the primary goal of soliciting citizen perceptions about different Mars exploration scenarios and mission planning approaches. Citizens were given background information about three potential Mars exploration scenarios that NASA could carry out: 1) Crewed orbital mission to direct robots on the surface of Mars; 2) Short exploratory crewed mission to the surface of Mars; and 3) establishing a permanent settlement. Citizens then engaged in structured facilitated discussions about their preferences among the scenarios and NASA's mission planning approach. Using a grounded theory coding approach, we analyzed participants' written rationales and dialogue about Mars exploration. In general, participants did not show a strong preference for any particular mission profile, but there was a slight preference for the crewed orbital robotics scenario. Participants who supported this approach saw it as the quickest, safest, and least costly road to a successful mission. However, many participants were interested in seeing "boots on the ground," as they believed this would propel scientific advancement, increase excitement about space exploration, and make humans a "two-planet species.".
... It has enjoyed steady support in the United States since the 1960s with around 70% of the population having a favorable view of the U.S. space exploration program. [4] These figures suggest that the ISS program enjoys broad public support in the United States. A 2013 study of European attitudes towards Space found that 57% of those surveyed thought that investing in human space exploration could lead to medical advances for Earth, but the public is evenly divided on whether such exploration is important. ...
... [5] There is a perception that space exploration is an expensive endeavor. While NASA's share of the U.S. federal budget is currently at around 0.5%, polling shows that the public believes, on average, that NASA's share of the budget is around 20% [4]. This perception perhaps persists from the Apollo era, when NASA commanded significantly higher percentages of the U.S. Federal budget. ...
Article
Full-text available
In 2014, a group of volunteers launched an initiative to use the Nobel Peace Prize award process to achieve such engagement. This group successfully secured the nomination of the International Space Station (ISS) partners for the Nobel Peace Prize. ISS has been a platform for international collaboration and research for more than fifteen years, but currently faces a public relations challenge. While fifteen nations are involved in the daily operation of ISS and sixty-nine nations have performed space-based research on the station, many people in both the public and private sectors do not understand the value that the station provides to society and the diplomatic achievement that it represents. This status quo calls for greater innovation in the methods used to communicate the value of ISS as a political model for future international projects on Earth and in space. ISS has brought together countries that were enemies in recent history - in particular Cold War rivals the United States and the Russian Federation. It has connected once-competing technologies into the most complex engineering artifact ever developed by humankind. Increasing awareness of the value of these achievements is a great challenge in an era that has witnessed tightening budgets and increasing scrutiny of future expenditures in space. It is therefore vital to generate and promote public interest and understanding of the ISS program to effectively communicate the critical role of international collaboration in future space endeavors. Copyright ©2014 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.
... 100 Public perception, moreover, can shift in light of space accidents-a reminder of the costs and limitations of human knowledge and control-while governmental support relies on the geopolitical climate. Spaceflight and exploration have consequently oscillated in national public opinion polls 101 and served as a consistent tool for political and diplomatic agendas, 102 yet it has remained. In fact, since 1957, America has perceived space as a place for knowledge and progress, a new frontier for science, defense, security, and international cooperation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Human spaceflight presents new challenges for traditional approaches to risk assessment. From the onset human, spaceflight has been recognized as an inherently dangerous activity. Consequently, U.S. laws and regulations have grown in tandem with space launch activities and operations to protect public health and safety. The recent development of the commercial space transportation industry is now seeing the burden of risk shift from government and government-sponsored missions to private commercial entities and individuals, and yet ethical frameworks are lacking for the private space sector. Opening access to space to the public inherently raises novel concerns for increased risk awareness, communication, and management among commercial entities and voluntary participants. This also highlights the need for evaluating and clarifying social perspectives on issues of risk, uncertainty, and standardization. This article offers a multidisciplinary analysis in ethics, law, and business organization to support responsible decision-making and risk assessment for commercial spaceflight activities.
... While this paper is a study of the public opinion of space exploration, this literature review instead emphasizes theoretical explanations of why and how Evangelical identity might matter for space attitudes. For reviews of literature on the broader determinants of space opinions, see for examples: Launius (2003); Nadeau (2013); Roy et al. (2000); Whitman Cobb (2011Cobb ( , 2020. ...
Article
Full-text available
President Donald Trump began his presidency in January 2017 by exclaiming, “We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space…” His “Make America Great Again” agenda has included a reinvigorated space policy—spearheaded by the creation of the Space Force military branch and NASA’s Launch America in partnership with the private sector. Prior to this administration, a 2015 study by Ambrosius found that Evangelical Protestants are the least supportive of space exploration when compared with other religious traditions and the public. These findings emerged from the analysis of several national surveys conducted between 2009 and 2011. This present study uses similar methods to revisit these findings in light of Evangelicals’ robust political support for the president and Vice President Mike Pence, the chair of the National Space Council who frequently evokes religious imagery in space-related speeches. Analysis of the General Social Survey conducted between 2004 and 2018 reveals that Trump’s presidency may have modestly altered this wall of separation. Evangelicals in 2018 remain significantly lower than non-Evangelicals in space knowledge, interest, and policy support, but they exhibit greater increases than the non-Evangelical population in space interest and support over levels during the Obama and Bush presidencies.
... 47 Numerous public opinion polls and surveys about NASA and space exploration have revealed this disconnect. 48 Poll and survey results have shown consistently over the years that respondents tend to be interested in the space program and tend to value having one. In addition, results do not reveal wide endorsement of big-ticket human space flight programs such as the Apollo lunar-landing program and proposed human missions to Mars. ...
... In regards to constituent desires towards space policy, there does not appear to be a clear relationship whereby members would vote for legislation leading to increased federal space spending based on public opinion (Steinberg, 2011). Moreover, as the majority of the population lacks solid awareness of NASA's budget in the first place, public opinion on the issue is likely to play only a small roll in congressional decision making (Launius, 2003 andSteinberg, 2013). Additionally, compared to the number of bills considered by Congress, space legislation is relatively rare. ...
... Lastly, the will to take this next 'giant leap' required both the need and the ground swell of public opinion and it is essential to ensure that representatives of every country understands the need, potential benefit, risks, ingenuity and hardship required and to be encountered to build a new Martian society. The Apollo program of the 1960s was a very well managed public relations exercise that did, as it has now become clear, have the wide support of all members of society, indeed Scott-Heron Gil's spoken word poem 'Whitey on the Moon' appears to reflect a nostalgic period and a facet of the privileged few interested in science (Launius 2003;Nadeau 2013). We suggest that even with an existential threat to life on Earth, any human venture to Mars must have a very clear value proposition beyond that of scientific exploration. ...
Article
The human desire for exploration, together with an increasingly demanding potential need for establishing a human colony away from Earth has stimulated the concept and early planning for Mars colonisation. Successful delivery of such a challenging and expensive technological feat requires a highly informed and supportive general society. Although the ergonomic constraints on astronauts living and working in space is well documented, no study has employed the use of ergonomics tools to explore colony and societal build on other worlds. We have employed Cognitive Work Analysis to derive an abstraction hierarchy for both colony establishment and maintenance with the vision of building a new Martian society. We find that our model will accommodate five major challenge themes collected from over 800 members from twenty two United Kingdom - based astronomical societies and scientific groups and propose that this study may have utility in guiding mission planners in the early colonisation phase and later stage expansion processes. Using the proposed architecture for the Mars One mission, we have performed a basic human factors analysis and propose a number of key design features which may enable long term habitation.
... 8 Because the public lacks strong and clear opinions on space policy funding, individual members of Congress would be hard pressed to act as delegates for their constituents. 9 Without having data about what the public want, members of Congress must instead use other available information to make decisions that would be in the best interests of their constituency. One data source that is readily available is use of an economic indicator. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores economic factors that help to explain Congressional support for NASA Authorization Acts and issues of U.S. federal space funding. Three economic factors related to political opportunism are identified and discussed in detail. Across the board, NASA Centers are a significant factor in shaping voting preferences, suggesting that the NASA presence itself plays an important role in influencing legislators. Meanwhile, other forms of economic opportunism based on the relative importance of the space and aircraft manufacturing industries in a given state and the amounts of NASA procurements are factors, but only in a more limited sense. This supports the concept that economic opportunism does influence legislative voting behavior on NASA Authorization Acts, though the bulk of the impact appears to be indirectly via NASA centers.
... The technology has made its efforts in mobilizing internet and other lead platforms for creating a set of hypothesis on relative use of social media for social interactions in society (Vedel, 2003; and Thomas and Streib, 2005). Demonstrated use of technology has helped creation of outreach programs and social action plans using different media platforms influencing societies against an incumbent political organization posed for the elections (Launius, 2003). The peaks of idealism and troughs of disillusionment too has engaged political organizations to use Internet and Communication Technology (ICT) for e-campaigns on influencing individuals in society (Hill and Hughes, 1998;and Bimber, 2003). ...
Article
The digital technology has significantly enhanced the convenience of communicating with the society. Technology platforms like social media, website blogs, and block chain have helped in furthering fast and effective interaction among the various segments of the society. While it is true that digital technologies can be effectively used for enhancing communication with voters in an election, there are ambiguities about the relative effectiveness of different types of digital interventions. It is against this context that we decided to conduct the study reported in this paper. In the first part of our research we identified common patterns of using digital platforms by international societies in promoting their election campaigns. In the second part of our research we chose a sample of 154 respondents eligible for voting in India and collected data from them using five-point Likert scale on their preferences for the use of digital platforms. These data were analyzed using Partial Least Squares (PLS) based Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to test our research model. While digitalization of decentralized polling booths, e-mail communications, social media exposure, telecommunications emerged as significant factors for improving voter turn outs, duration of social media usage, discussion forums, voters’ portal and image sharing have not been found to be effective.
... Why haven't humans gone beyond Earth's orbit for around 50 years? While the answer is simple and straightforward, we lacked powerful launch and descent vehicles like the Saturn V and the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), progress was mainly hampered by the lack of political and public will [6,7]. As Eugene Ionesco once said, "It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question." ...
Conference Paper
Building up on previous market studies for the aviation industry, the terrestrial tourism industry, the sub-orbital tourism market, and the orbital tourism market, we conduct qualitative and quantitative market surveys to estimate the size and value of the Lunar Tourism market. Based on initial assumptions, the target customers are expected to be 25 year old and beyond, pioneering individuals that belong to the innovator and early adopter groups of this lunar hotel's product lifecycle, and would psychographically have travel-based exploration and a fascination for science-fiction ingrained in their personalities. They would typically have a strong inclination towards adventure sports and expeditionary traveling. These consumers tend to have similar social circles and utilizing the emotion of fear of missing out (FOMO) is likely to play a vital role in customer acquisition. Lunar Tourism is initially set to be marketed as very niche expeditions meant to be the highlight of a person's lifetime. Though the Lunar hotel would be more likely to attract wealthy tourists in its initial phases of development, the evolution of the space tourism market would be highly dependent on the development of low-cost launch services that would make the access to space affordable to the general public. In the meantime, a new market would have to be created for a niche customer group with high standards, which might not directly influence the democratization of space in the relatively short term but would be essential for the creation of an initial market and the development of the Lunar business ecosystem. As the demand increases, the competition among different stakeholders will increase and new, more diverse services for different niche market segments will be created. This survey should uncover insights on the demographic and psychographic characteristics of the target customers, the perceived value of Lunar Tourism from the perspective of the customers, and the demands and requirements of the customers, which would affect the design of the hotel and the types of services offered.
... Notwithstanding the tragic Challenger disaster and the failure of two Mars orbiters, the public still believed that NASA was exceptional in space exploration (Launius 2003). According to a survey by the New York Times after the Challenger disaster, over 80 percent of the respondents had a high confidence in NASA (Waldrop 1986). ...
Chapter
The New Orleans Flood in the summer of 2005 caused by Hurricane Katrina ranks as one of the biggest US natural disasters in terms of human and economical loss (Howitt and Leonard in Fletcher Forum of World Affairs 30(1):215–221, 2006; Waugh in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 604(1):10–25, 2006).
... Between the Vietnam War (1962-75) and the 1973 Oil Crisis, Americans were concerned that their taxes could have been put to better, tangible use. 23 There were no obvious benefits from space exploration that had been discovered thus far, save for the incredible scientific accomplishment. 24 Space up until now had been a new frontier to be conquered with military might and was seen as an extension of the war machine. ...
... Americans approve of the space program and how NASA runs it. 3 However, according to data from the General Social Survey (GSS) conducted for the last 40 years, less than 20% of the population supports increasing NASA spending. 4 This duality demonstrates the difficulty in gauging public opinion of NASA. ...
Article
Full-text available
The public is generally supportive of space policy, but less supportive of spending for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) compared to other government programs. Previous research has helped identify who is more likely to be supportive of NASA spending, but not why. This study seeks to understand the causal mechanisms that influence support for NASA. Using natural between-survey and induced within-survey experiments, this study attempts to identify factors influencing changes in public support for NASA spending. Short-term programmatic and related media effects appear to have no influence on public support for NASA spending. However, correcting information asymmetries in regard to NASA's budget appears to have a significant positive effect on public support for NASA spending. The findings speak to the importance of the public being well informed on policy issues in order to make a correct policy choice, and demonstrate that individual programmatic aspects may not be as important as overall agency direction.
Article
Despite growing interest in the relationship between religion and outer space, the influence of religion on space policy attitudes remains a mostly unexplored topic. This study fills this research gap by treating space exploration as a policy issue for examination by religion and politics theory. It uses data from the General Social Survey and three Pew surveys to construct several logistic regression models. Space policy support, the dependent variable, is operationalized in seven ways as the antecedents of policy views (i.e., space knowledge and interest), actual policy/funding views, and policy expectations. Religion, the key independent variable, is operationalized as belonging (tradition), behavior (church attendance), beliefs, and salience. In addition, one survey permits the identification of the nature of science messages espoused by clergy. The findings reveal that Evangelical Protestants in the U.S. are the least supportive of space policy. However, evidence shows that pro-science messages from the pulpit can change Evangelicals' perceptions of space exploration. The article concludes with calls for increased, concerted outreach to Evangelicals and other religious publics by the space community. These efforts are essential if the American republic will pursue greater space exploration in the near future. Ultimately, religions must ensure their survival by embracing space.
Conference Paper
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently in a period of transition following the end of the Space Shuttle program. The path forward-at least in human spaceflight-is still undetermined due to lack of consensus behind the 2010 compromise to pursue both commercial human spaceflight systems for low-Earth orbit servicing and a NASA-led human expedition to an asteroid by 2025. One thing that is agreed upon by numerous blue-ribbon panels and space policy experts is that NASA's budget and strategic policy objectives are misaligned, and many have suggested reducing NASA's purview in an attempt to realign the agency with budget realities and put the agency on a sustainable trajectory. One potential solution is shifting the agency toward a capability-driven strategy instead of mission-driven one. This paper examines the outcomes, both positive and negative, that could potentially emerge out of pursuing both mission-driven and capability-driven approaches. The report also analyzes previous programs and transitional periods in NASA's history in an attempt to gain insights about the different policy elements that will be needed for NASA to execute its mission sustainably. Finally, the report defines one possible implementation strategy for a capability-driven approach.
Article
This manuscript presents a high-fidelity reconstruction of the cost of Project Apollo, including year-by-year funding for all major programs and average costs for each crewed lunar landing attempt. According to these data, the United States spent $25.8 billion on hardware, facilities, and overhead directly associated with Project Apollo between fiscal years 1960 and 1973. This represents a substantial improvement over previous cost reporting. Annual cost data enable improved adjustments for inflation, which can account for varying inflation rates throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. This enables comparisons to modern efforts to return humans to the Moon, which display a lower and slower cost profile reflecting their lower political priority.
Article
The images of Shuttle launches and earthrise over the rim of the moon are iconic representations of American strength, technical capacity, and the future of humankind. Yet NASA itself, the agency responsible for these images, is chronically underfunded, hounded by low-tech glitches, buffeted by changes in administrative direction, and currently without a clear next mission. How can this apparent contradiction be explained? Here the relationship between indicators of agency power, including budget, personnel, and program size measures and the indicators of size and scope of contracting is explored. I examine the agency's heavy reliance on contracting as a possible explanation for the uncertain direction and changes in course that characterize its recent history. Over time the agency has turned over greater responsibilities for project design and program management and even program direction to contractors until it was said, ―People used to come to NASA for information, now they come for a contract" (NASA 1995, 10). What can we learn about the impact of contracting on American bureaucratic power and autonomy? 2 Agency Autonomy and Contracting: NASA and the Aerospace Industry The images of Shuttle launches and earthrise over the rim of the moon are iconic representations of American strength, technical capacity, and of the future of humankind. Yet NASA itself, the agency responsible for these images, is chronically underfunded, hounded by low-tech glitches, buffeted by changes in administrative direction, and currently without a clear next mission (NPR 2010, Achenbach 2010). Most recently, President Obama has proposed the cancellation of the Constellation program designed to create a permanent human presence on the moon in preparation for crewed Mars exploration. In its stead, the Administration advocates a longer time line toward a ―flexible path‖ to other objectives within the solar system including eventually the moon, asteroids, and Mars depending on technical innovations and the availability of funding. In addition, it has turned transportation to the Space Station in low earth orbit over to private aerospace firms. Congressional members whose districts are affected by reduced funding at NASA Centers, former astronauts and some NASA administrators have been outspoken critics of these changes (Achenbach 2010, NPR 2010, Clark 2010, Cowling 2010). Altogether these events call into question the image of the agency as powerful and autonomous. How can the contrast between the public image of the agency and its political and bureaucrat realities be accounted for? A number of explanations have been advanced. The enormous cost of the programs requires the agency to justify its existence on other than scientific terms. Thus the agency has been forced to operate under a shifting array of externally defined missions and purposes and to compromise its science and engineering objectives to find enough support to survive. These missions include preserving the health of the aerospace industry for economic and military purposes, creating jobs for workers and for new generations of scientists and engineers, and maintaining national security and national prestige (Kay 2005). Alternatively, NASA is seen as being more autonomous than it appears by strategically juggling its missions to maximize external support to acquire resources for its primary objective—the preservation of a human space exploration program (Handberg 2003).
Article
US space exploration policy deliberations tend not to include citizens who lack direct, vested financial interests in the space enterprise. Could expanding the circle of US space policy development players to involve citizens more aptly serve space exploration and the interests of American democratic society in the 21st century? I evaluate the merits and feasibility of citizen participation, drawing upon democratic theory and scholarship analyzing public participation in techno-scientific matters, previous experiences of public involvement in space exploration policy formation, and reflections on my professional experiences in space policy development. I argue that public engagement will enrich the debate surrounding the US future in space and may point toward a program American citizens will support as a meaningful future in the cosmos. I suggest three guiding principles and outline four mechanisms that, if embraced by US space policy makers, could foster meaningful public participation in informing the US space exploration agenda.
Article
The current debate over the future of human spaceflight in the USA has been a fascinating, and troubling, exercise in futility for those inextricably committed to an expansive vision of human exploration and development of space. The retirement of the Space Shuttle, originally set for the end of 2010 but later extended into 2011, the technical and funding problems of the Constellation follow-on program that led to its cancellation in 2009, and the emergence of commercial vendors who might be able to offer human access to Earth orbit have all complicated the current environment. In view of this situation, the question may be legitimately asked: what might we learn from earlier efforts to develop a human spaceflight capability the last time such a transition took place? Using the post-Apollo transition from the ballistic capsule to a winged, reusable vehicle as a case study, this article seeks to illuminate the planning, decision-making, economic, and political issues that have arisen in this policy debate. It suggests that a web of interlocking issues—only one of which was technical—affected the course taken. Instead, politics, economics, social and cultural priorities, values, and institutional considerations all helped to frame the debate and shape the decision.
Article
Full-text available
The object of this study is to canvas the literature for the purpose of identifying and compiling a list of Gaps, Obstacles, and Technological Challenges in Hypersonic Applications (GOTCHA). The significance of GOTCHA related deficiencies is discussed along with potential solutions, promising approaches, and feasible remedies that may be considered by engineers in pursuit of next generation hypersonic vehicle designs and optimizations. Based on the synthesis of several modern surveys and public reports, a cohesive list is formed consisting of widely accepted areas needing improvement that fall under several general categories. These include: aerodynamics, propulsion, materials, analytical modeling, CFD modeling, and education in high speed flow physics. New methods and lines of research inquiries are suggested such as the homotopy-based analysis (HAM) for the treatment of strong nonlinearities, the use of improved turbulence models and unstructured grids in numerical simulations, the need for accessible validation data, and the refinement of mission objectives for Hypersonic Air- breathing Propulsion (HAP).
Article
Chroniclers regularly affirm that Russia's Sputniks produced popular crisis. More nuanced explanations argue that a preliminary “media riot” made cosmic space races an essential counterpart of earthly missile races in the public mind. Widespread public interest and political support for the US civilian space program during its formative years is presumed, as is the concept that space explorations were a key global determinant of US Cold War prestige. Such ideas are overdrawn. Contemporary analysts often studied to confirm what they already knew. Unattractive official findings were censored or ignored. Surveying all formerly secret and other opinion data about civilian space exploration from Sputnik 1 to the end of the Mercury program shows how space exploration advocates helped create elite panic regarding the Sputniks via selective reporting, while wider publics generally stayed indifferent to lunar and planetary missions. Elite panic, not mass panic, impelled the priorities and programs of the early space age.
Article
This study examines presidential-congressional relations on appropriations for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The objective is to examine differences between presidential requests and congressional appropriations for NASA spanning fiscal years 1959–2009. The analysis accentuates NASA's exceptional situation in the budgeting process as an agency without a core social or geographic constituency, the impact of congressional budget reforms, and presidents’ relative inattention to space policy since the agency's inception in 1958. The theoretical basis for the quantitative analysis also draws from perspectives that include domestic economic factors, international contexts, and the congressional electoral cycle. The empirical analysis accentuates the basis for congressional dominance over the agency's funding.
Article
One hundred fifty-five college undergraduates from Syracuse University were surveyed to assess the relationship between their scientific literacy and attitudes to US space exploration. The students were divided into four sections based on majors: basic sciences (n = 41), health sciences (n = 29), political science (n = 36) and other (n = 49). As a whole the students had high scientific knowledge and overall support for human space exploration. There was a significant correlation (rho = 0.33. P < 0.01) between the dependent variables, suggesting that those with the highest scientific literacy looked more favorably upon US space exploration. When evaluated by college major, significant correlations were evident for political science and health science majors only (P < 0.05). There were no differences in scientific literacy scores between males and females and among the various college majors (P > 0.05). Attitudes towards US space exploration varied by sex only, indicating that males were more supportive than females (P < 0.05). These data suggest that individuals with adequate scientific literacy tend to look more favorably upon space exploration. Further research should be done to assess these factors in other populations, as well as to develop strategies to improve scientific literacy and shape positive attitudes towards space exploration in the US population.
Article
Using data from the General Social Survey, this research identifies the issue public of US space policy. Highlighting the need to understand and identify the portion of the public that supports space activities, this study underscores the limited appeal of space for the public as a whole. We find that those who support space activities tend to be younger, male, Republican, and have a higher level of education and socioeconomic status. Because these characteristics make up a relatively small proportion of the American population, those supporting space activities must broaden the appeal of space, making it more accessible and understandable for those with whom the issue does not have much saliency.
Article
This article addresses a timely and widespread issue, that of public opinion and the rise of “big data.” Analysts of US space policy have consistently noted the role that public opinion plays in setting the directions for US space exploration. However, the tools that have been used to measure public opinion suffer from serious shortcomings in terms of timing and lack of available data. This paper introduces two new measures of public opinion, Google Trends and Twitter, and details how they can be used to assist in measuring interest in space policy in the American public.
Chapter
This essay examines space exploration from its beginnings in the middle of the last century and looks onward to half a century in the future. Beginning by examining the reasons why the 2 twentieth century superpowers believed that space exploration was an important investment, the chronological review of early developments includes discussions on science, commerce, and national security; the evolution of space-related technologies; and progress and advancements in launch vehicles, spacecraft, and spacecraft payloads. With the subjects of robotic solar system exploration and crewed missions to space discussed in some detail, the great advances of the last 60 years establish a foundation for addressing the challenges of future human flight beyond Earth’s vicinity – challenges that are technical, political, social, and economic in nature. The author takes a pragmatic view in making forecasts for the future of spaceflight: limiting conjecture, for the most part, to the next 50 years. While it is very difficult to make realistic predictions for longer periods, the author is confident that space exploration continues to grasp the public’s imagination and desire to know more about the universe and that it continues to build on many of the same questions that inspired the space program in the mid-twentieth century. The essay concludes with prospects for the twenty-first century.
Article
Rising criticisms of the current direction of U.S. human spaceflight, especially the Constellation program, as a star-crossed engineering effort have led defenders of the effort to compare it to the Apollo program. During the question and answer period of the American Astronautical Society's von Braun Symposium on October 21, 2008, Ares Project Manager Steve Cook passed off technical criticism of Ares with a reference that such criticism was nothing new, that it had always swirled around NASA. Even the vaunted Apollo program, he insisted, experienced significant criticism both internal and external to the space agency. This response seemed unusual, essentially making the case that criticism of major projects undertaken by NASA, especially in human spaceflight, routinely endured significant criticism from all quarters. How true might that be? Did Apollo engender significant criticism? Where did that criticism originate? How was it manifested and what did it consist of? How does that experience compare to the current critical analyses of NASA's human spaceflight efforts?
Chapter
Leading computer scientists as well as technology visionaries have predicted that eventually human personalities will be archived and simulated through information systems. This chapter anchors those ideas in the history of the personology movement at Harvard University in the mid twentieth century and in the parallel questionnaire research tradition in social psychology and sociology. Despite the faded reputation of psychoanalysis, and the rise of cognitive science, depth psychology in modernized form must be central to this novel response to death. Administration of afterlife questions from the General Social Survey to members of a radical group show how cultures and subcultures both shape individuals. Thus, capture must involve not only the individual, but to some degree the surrounding society as well, and emulation must benefit other people. Five scenarios for the future of personality capture and emulation range from radical to modest: (1) Transmigration: the transfer of human personalities to a new substrate at high fidelity, (2) Apotheosis: creation of an idealized functioning model of an individual person, (3) Progeny: representing a person through multiple agents during the lifetime as well as afterward, (4) Incorporation: providing partial immortality by embedding a person into the collective memory of the community, and (5) Personalization: adjustment of an individual’s tools to reflect personal beliefs, values, and skills.
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the great Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union, roughly in the decade and a half 1957–1972, which is the period in which public opinion polls for the first time asked many questions about spaceflight. Initially, few citizens understood anything about spaceflight, or much about the solar system, so one trend reveals increasing awareness. Depending on exactly what questions were asked, citizens always showed great disagreement over what priority should be given to the American space program. Generally the majority was opposed to increased funding, but there was sufficient public support so that political elites could invest in the program. Leaders of two kinds built the space program: (1) opinion leaders within the general society who shaped public opinion, and (2) organization leaders who influenced public opinion from outside, being or seeking to become members of a societally influential elite class.
Article
China has one of the world's most advanced space programs, making it important to understand the motives shaping its pursuit of space power. Although analysts have examined the role of Chinese military doctrine in shaping its space ambitions, little is known about the role of China's public in its space-related activities. As scholars increasingly recognize, China's government is often highly concerned with domestic public opinion, particularly that of China's online population. Similarly, China's most ambitious projects, such as its human spaceflight program, are often used as propaganda aimed at domestic audiences. Public support for China's space activities could, therefore, play an important role in influencing China's space policy. To examine how China's public views China's space activities, this article draws on findings from a survey (N = 1482) fielded with Chinese respondents in June–July 2020. The article finds that China's public is largely supportive of investing in human spaceflight and deep space exploration. The survey also indicates that although respondents view the United States as a competitor and a threat, they favor cooperating with the United States in space exploration. Furthermore, the survey finds that China's public is supportive of international law governing outer space, as well as laws banning the use of space weapons. Overall, this descriptive analysis provides an important first step for understanding the role of public opinion in China's pursuit of space power.
Article
This study tested responses to traditional or interactive material about NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) project. A total of 660 participants were divided into three groups: a science guide group that viewed an online PDF, an interactive group that viewed a YouTube video and FlyBy simulation, and a control group that received no supporting texts about JWST. Interactive media outperformed traditional texts in increasing levels of support for JWST construction. However, the traditional text and interactive media showed no difference in other measures of support for JWST construction. No texts increased support for NASA funding or prompted participant advocacy.
Book
Explore Earth's closest neighbor, the Moon, in this fascinating and timely book and discover what we should expect from this seemingly familiar but strange, new frontier. What startling discoveries are being uncovered on the Moon? What will these tell us about our place in the Universe? How can exploring the Moon benefit development on Earth? Discover the role of the Moon in Earth's past and present; read about the lunar environment and how it could be made more habitable for humans; consider whether continued exploration of the Moon is justified; and view rare Apollo-era photos and film stills. This is a complete story of the human lunar experience, presenting many interesting but little-known and significant events in lunar science for the first time. It will appeal to anyone wanting to know more about the stunning discoveries being uncovered on the Moon.
Article
Objective Analyze NASA's efforts to “sell” both its mission and its successes from its origins in 1958 to the present. Methods Use public opinion polling and qualitative sources to establish change over time. Results Study suggests that NASA's public support was less important than most have previously asserted, and that the overall activities of NASA have been advanced by a small base of supporters, challenged by a small group of opponents, and sustained by a larger number of people who accept a status quo in space exploration. Conclusion A general public lack of support for expending many dollars on spaceflight has been a fundamental reality of NASA since its beginning. It is not changing, and probably not changeable, in the predictive future. Accordingly, NASA's quest for human spaceflight's popular appeal remains an elusive goal.
Article
This study tests the congruence between public opinion toward funding US space exploration and previously theorized rationales to justify space activities and examines how those motivations differ by political party and how they vary from 1973 to 2016. General Social Survey data are used to measure correlations between space spending preferences and other spending categories that proxy proposed rationales, with mixed effects and ordinal logit regressions. Consistent with the scientific discovery rationale, support for funding space correlates with positive attitudes toward science. During the Cold War, a national security frame prevailed: Space and military preferences were correlated, with “hawks” supporting defense and space spending and “doves” opposing both. After the Cold War, Republicans continue to show strong space-military correlation, but for Democrats, space funding support now correlates with environmental protection preferences and not their military spending views. Both parties show slight negative correlations between space and social welfare spending. Overall partisan differences in funding preferences have not greatly increased, but diverging motivations have implications for future space politics.
Article
With the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ramping up efforts to return the United States to the moon, they have made concerted efforts to appeal to women, including naming the effort after the twin sister of Apollo, Artemis. Survey data from the General Social Survey indicate a persistent gap between men and women in terms of support for greater spending on space exploration. This research undertakes an exploration of the dynamics of this gender gap and the underlying attitudinal influences. I find evidence that the attitudinal foundations of support for space spending differ between men and women. For women in particular, knowledge, as measured by a science knowledge index and the number of college science classes they have taken, predicts a significant increase in spending support whereas for men, implicit attitudes regarding science in general play a larger role. This suggests that different methods may be necessary to generate greater levels of support for space among women than among men.
Article
This article argues that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) deployed tourism as a key public relations strategy during preparations for Project Apollo. NASA appropriations hearings in 1963 catalysed a national debate over the tangible benefits and costs of sending Americans to the moon. American ambivalence towards the effort alarmed Democratic Representative Olin E. Teague of Texas, chairman of the powerful House Subcommittee on Manned Spaceflight, who understood the correlation between public opinion and congressional appropriations. Inspired by the crowds that congregated on the beaches outside Florida’s John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for each crewed space launch, Teague proposed a tourism programme to encourage public support for NASA’s objectives. Public affairs officers facilitated these programmes at KSC, beginning with a modest information trailer in 1964 and culminating in a Visitor Information Center in 1967 that included an exhibition hall, outdoor displays and depot facilitating escorted bus tours. The space centre quickly became a popular attraction: however, a culture of racial discrimination and intimidation in Brevard County deterred African Americans from participating in space centre tourism. Public programming at KSC – an important legacy of Project Apollo that continues today – was not the panacea Teague and NASA hoped it would be.
Article
The space governance landscape has shifted rapidly in recent years. As previous scholars have noted, this shifting environment has relied heavily on private actors and commercial interests. The space industry is now made up of not just a handful of nation states but also corporations large and small developing innovative technologies. These corporations operate alongside and in partnership with government agencies around the world. The diversity of actors and rapid changes in technology have highlighted a series of governance challenges. However, the space sector is not alone in these coordination, cooperation, and collective action problems. We argue that space governance can be understood and developed through a framework of adaptive governance (AG), which has been applied in a variety of settings including environmental governance. Furthermore, from the AG literature, we identify five criteria for AG as it applies to space governance: (1) adequate information about the resource, (2) values, (3) human-environment interaction, (4) inclusive dialog between resource users, and (5) complex, redundant, and layered institutions. By adopting the AG framework, a space policy can be developed that is highly adaptive, allows rules to evolve from feedback, and appropriately accounts for uncertainty in the environment and governance of space.
Article
Full-text available
The paper investigates the evolution of the first manned international space mission – a rendezvous and docking between a US and a Soviet spacecraft in 1975 known as the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). The aim is to reconsider the rationales behind the ASTP from both a conceptual and an empirical perspective in order to get a better understanding of the evolution of international cooperation in the highly competitive and strategic field of space technology. Based on archival sources from Moscow, it sheds some light on those factors that led to a change in the previous reluctance of Soviets to cooperate with the US in the manned spaceflight. From the theoretical point of view, it argues that the ASTP was as much a tool of competition as one of cooperation and resulted from an interplay between cooperative and competitive logics. To explain the turn towards cooperative practices, the article looks at the complex constellation of competitive relations that existed within the national and international context of space exploration and changed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The decisive role in those changes was played by factors that can be subsumed under the notion of the so-called “third.”
Chapter
What are the goal, the aim, the objective, and the purpose of public engagement with planetary science? What, exactly, is “public engagement”? I am a social scientist with a PhD in mass communication. I cast a critical eye on efforts to promote public engagement with space science, assessing them in their broader cultural context. Since the 1990s, I have worked with a number of NASA science programs on communication strategy and planning, public education, and public engagement. I am currently working with NASA's astrobiology program and Planetary Defense Coordination Office. My primary justification for the planetary science communication and engagement efforts I have worked on is the need to fulfill NASA's statutory responsibility to “provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof” and ensure that decision-makers and citizens have access to clear, concise, correct, and timely information about these programs.
Article
Commercial investment is bringing space tourism closer to reality. Marlene Grenon and colleagues outline what doctors will need to know Although perhaps unfamiliar with the specific physiological changes associated with commercial air travel, most physicians will have travelled by plane and many will have attended a passenger in need of medical assistance while on a commercial flight. They are, however, unlikely to have experience of space travel. Numerous commercial enterprises exist that will eventually provide competitively priced access to spaceflight experiences for paying customers. With spaceports construction under way, bookings are already taking place. Physicians can in future expect patients to ask questions and request clearance processes (such as fitness to fly certificates) for space travel as they do for commercial airplane flights today. Here, we provide some background to the field of space medicine for non-experts and point to resources for clinicians when a patient presents with requests related to space travel.
Article
Full-text available
The 5 January 1972 announcement by President Richard Nixon that the United States would develop during the 1970's a new space transportation system-the space shuttle-has had fundamental impacts on the character of U.S. space activities. In retrospect, it can be argued that the shuttle design chosen was destined to fail to meet many of the policy objectives established for the system; the shuttle's problems in serving as the primary launch vehicle for the United States and in providing routine and cost-effective space transportation are in large part a result of the ways in which compromises were made in the 1971-72 period in order to gain White House and congressional approval to proceed with the program. The decision to develop a space shuttle is an example of a poor quality national commitment to a major technological undertaking.
Article
The use of launch vehicle failure data to evaluate the causes of vehicle failures is examined. Launch vehicle failure trends for the Titan, Centaur, Atlas, and Delta vehicles are discussed. Failure probabilities for liquid and solid propulsion systems are analzyed, and the data are applied to liquid propulsion systems that can complete missions with one or more engines out. Methods for reducing failures, such as the use of a redundant, voting guidance system, are described.
Article
The world has known three great ages of exploration-the circumnavigation of the globe, with its attendant discovery of new lands; the traversing and cataloguing of the newly-found continents; and the exploration of the uninhabited regions of Antarctica, the deep ocean basins and outer space. The author points to the culturally and historically determined nature of discovery, which has thus far been largely a Western phenomenon, but emphasizes the qualitatively different character of space which takes the Earth, rather than any particular part of it, as its starting point, and which sets forth to chart regions that are most probably abiotic.
Article
Survey questions can be useful tools in gauging public interest. An historical analysis of U.S. public opinion on space-related issues presents some valuable results. Space-related poll questions closely track major events in the history of the U.S. space program. Funding questions are consistently asked, although program-related questions are becoming increasingly popular. Support for space funding has remained remarkably stable at approximately 80% since 1965, with only one significant dip in support in the early 1970s. However, responses on funding questions are extremely sensitive to question wording and should be used cautiously. Around 75% of the American public generally approve of the job that NASA is doing. Human space flight wins out over robotic space programs when put head-to-head, although support for a human Mars mission is on the decline. Despite dramatic increases in commercial space activities, in general opinion polls fail to reflect this increasingly dominant sector of the space economy.
Article
When future generations review the history of the 20th century, they will undoubtedly judge humanity's movement into space, with both machines and people, as one of its seminal developments. Even at this juncture, the complex nature of space-flight and the activity that it has engendered on the part of many peoples and governments, makes the US civil space programme a significant area of investigation. People from all avenues of experience and levels of education share an interest in the drama of spaceflight. This book offers an up-to-date synthesis of the American civil space programme and is designed specially for use as a college textbook. Written by NASA's Chief Historian, it describes the history of this effort from its earliest origins to the early 1990s and offers an analysis of the space programme that merges political, economic, technological, scientific and foreign affairs factors into a powerful story. In common with all the Anvil Series texts, historical narrative is enhanced with material from key documents which shed light on other aspects of the story.
Article
The record of United States launch vehicle failures is reviewed within the context of the U.S. space program in light of the approaching implementation of a reusable launch vehicle. Vehicle failures, defined as launches which were intended but failed to place all or part of the vehicle into earth orbit or more distant space, are traced from the Vanguard program, with a success record of 27%, through the Thor Able and Delta launch vehicles derived from Vanguard (success rates 57 and 95%), and within the Thor Agena, Saturn I and IB, Saturn V, Titan II Gemini, Thor Burner 2 and Titan IIID programs, the last five of which have a 100% success rate. United States launch vehicle failure rates are also compared with those of the vehicle development programs of France, Japan, Great Britain and ELDO. An overall success rate of 88% is obtained for the U.S. program, and it is predicted that expendable boosters will be phased out by the mid-1980s with the advent of the Space Shuttle.
Article
This book is an example of what may become the norm for history texts-an illustrated narrative accompanied by a CD-ROM. The text tells the story from the human side. It is based on reflections and quotes from the astronauts, cosmonauts, and team members who participated in the historic partnership. The main chapters give the perspectives of the seven U.S. astronauts living on Mir. The "STS boxes" share the Space Shuttle crews' experiences from the 11 Shuttle-Mir missions. The "Meanwhile on Earth" sections provide details of what was happening on Earth while the attention of the Program focused on the situations in space. The text reflects conventional usage; that is, temperature is given in degrees Fahrenheit, and metrics are used as appropriate. While this publication provides an accurate overview of the Shuttle-Mir Program, the reader is encouraged to explore the companion CD-ROM. It contains a complete, searchable text of the book itself plus source publications, mission data, status reports, drawings and illustrations, videos and hundreds of images, and even a virtual Shuttle-Mir children's book. Of particular interest are the Shuttle-Mir oral history transcripts and the letters written by American astronauts while they were in residence on the Russian space station. Many of the quotes in "Shuttle-Mir: The U.S. and Russia Share History's Highest Stage" came from sources located on the CD-ROM. The reader is invited to explore the Shuttle-Mir story through the words, images, and insights of those who took part in it.
Article
Using primary documents and interviews with participants, this book describes the events that led up to the 1984 decision that NASA should build a permanently occupied, international space station in low earth orbit. The role that civil servants in NASA played in initiating the program is highlighted. The trail of the Space Station proposal as its advocates devised strategies to push it through the White House policy review process is followed. The critical analysis focuses on the way in which 'incrementalism' (the tendency of policy makers to introduce incremental changes once projects are under way) operated in connection with the Space Station program. The book calls for a commitment to a long-range space policy.
University of Alabama Press; 1994; Byrnes ME. Politics and space: image making by NASA
  • Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press; 1994; Byrnes ME. Politics and space: image making by NASA. New York: Praeger; 1994.
Congressional Research Service, NASA's Space Station Program: evolution and current status. Testimony before the House Science Committee Report of the cost assessment and validation task force on the International Space Station
  • Ms Smith
Smith MS. Congressional Research Service, NASA's Space Station Program: evolution and current status. Testimony before the House Science Committee, April 4, 2001; NASA Advisory Council. Report of the cost assessment and validation task force on the International Space Station, April 21, 1998, both in NASA Historical Reference Collection.
An Apollo perspective Astronautics and Aero-nautics 1979
  • Jm Logsdon
Logsdon JM. An Apollo perspective. Astronautics and Aero-nautics 1979:112–7.
Where America stands
  • F Newport
  • L Saad
  • Moore
Newport F, Saad L, Moore D. Where America stands. New York: Wiley; 1997 [Chapter 1].
The next-generation space race: what lessons can future Presidents learn from JFK? Essay on Space.com
  • Launius
]Launius RD. The next-generation space race: what lessons can future Presidents learn from JFK? Essay on Space.com, October 24, 2000, available on-line at http://www.space.com/opinionscol-umns/opinions/jfk election leaders.html, accessed July 21, 2002.
Expanding the frontiers of knowledge Looking Backward. Looking Forward: Forty Years of US Human Spaceflight Symposium
  • Grasse Tyson Neil
Neil de Grasse Tyson. Expanding the frontiers of knowledge. In: Garber SJ, editor. Looking Backward. Looking Forward: Forty Years of US Human Spaceflight Symposium. Washington, DC, NASA SP–2002–4107, 2002. p. 127–36.
Long-term visions for US space policy, background paper prepared for the subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs, and Criminal Justice of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight
  • J A Vedda
Vedda JA. Long-term visions for US space policy, background paper prepared for the subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs, and Criminal Justice of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, May 1997, copy in author's possession;
Between a rocket and a hard place: episodes in the evolution of launch vehicle technology. Paper presented at 51st International Astronautical Congress
  • Launius Rd Garver
  • Lb
Launius RD, Garver LB. Between a rocket and a hard place: episodes in the evolution of launch vehicle technology. Paper presented at 51st International Astronautical Congress, IAA–00–
As a specific example, see the argument made in George M. Low, Team Leader, to Mr Richard Fairbanks, Director, Transition Resources and Development Group
  • Article In
  • Press
ARTICLE IN PRESS 20 This argument is made by Launius and McCurdy [24]. As a specific example, see the argument made in George M. Low, Team Leader, to Mr. Richard Fairbanks, Director, Transition Resources and Development Group, ''Report of the NASA Transition Team,'' 19 December 1980, NASA Historical Reference Collection, advocating strong presidential leadership to make everything right with the US space program.
Deep space chronicle: robotic exploration missions to the planets. NASA SP-2002-4524
  • A A Siddiqi
Siddiqi AA. Deep space chronicle: robotic exploration missions to the planets. NASA SP-2002-4524, Washington, DC, 2002.
The space shuttle decision: NASA'S quest for a reusable space vehicle. NASA SP-4221
  • Ta Heppenheimer
Heppenheimer TA. The space shuttle decision: NASA'S quest for a reusable space vehicle. NASA SP-4221, Washington, DC, 1999;
Epilogue: beyond NASA exception-alism
  • Launius Rd Mccurdy
Launius RD, McCurdy HE. Epilogue: beyond NASA exception-alism. In: Launius RD, McCurdy HE, editors. Spaceflight and the myth of Presidential leadership. Urbana: University of Illinois Press; 1997. p. 222–7.
WP polls conducted between the 1980s and the present, available in the NASA Historical Reference Collection. 11 This analysis is based on a set of NBC
  • Associated Press
  • Nbc
  • Cbs Gallup
  • York New
  • Times
  • Abc
Associated Press, NBC, Gallup, CBS/New York Times, and ABC/WP polls conducted between the 1980s and the present, available in the NASA Historical Reference Collection. 11 This analysis is based on a set of NBC/Associated Press, NBC, CBS/New York Times, ABC/WP, Harris, and Gallup polls conducted between the 1980s and the present, available in the NASA Historical Reference Collection. References
Development of the space shuttle
  • Ta Heppenheimer
Heppenheimer TA. Development of the space shuttle, 1972–1981.
Expanding the frontiers of knowledge
  • Neil De
  • Grasse Tyson
White House Meeting Tape 63
  • J E Webb
Twenty years on-orbit
  • Launius
Making history in space, pointing directions for the future
  • Launius
Kennedy and the Moon goal
  • Baker
Apollo 11 at twenty-five
  • Launius
The next-generation space race: what lessons can future Presidents learn from JFK?
  • R D Launius
The space shuttle decision: NASA’S quest for a reusable space vehicle
  • T A Heppenheimer
The Space Shuttle Program
  • Logsdon
Ten major policy questions arising from the Columbia accident
  • R D Launius
NASA's Space Station Program: evolution and current status. Testimony before the House Science Committee
  • M S Smith
Report of the cost assessment and validation task force on the International Space Station
  • Nasa Advisory
  • Council
Between a rocket and a hard place: episodes in the evolution of launch vehicle technology. Paper presented at 51st International Astronautical Congress
  • R D Launius
  • L B Garver
An Apollo perspective
  • Logsdon