"Reflecting on the last decade of U.S. space accomplishment, it is apparent that the strategic direction of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) first outlined by President Bush on January 14, 2004 has dramatically transformed the civil space program of the United States. Instead of drifting aimlessly, as had been our wont, we are now poised to expand outward with activities undreamed of only a few years ago - ready to set sail into the Solar System with both humans and machines. It is important to revisit this decade of events to appreciate what (and who) is responsible for the developments that cemented this enviable level of space capability - the effort keeping us at the forefront of space development."
Going Beyond The Status Quo In Space, Dennis WIngo, Paul Spudis, Gordon Woodcock, earlier post
"The next step in our space program is the development of a true space faring civilization using the Moon as a stepping stone. Elements of such a system include a lunar spaceport, settlement, and industrial infrastructure to support the further economic development of the Solar System. Pursuing this goal requires a different way of thinking about space infrastructure and operations. Reducing operating cost is paramount. We must accept high-payoff new technologies and manage their risks until they are mature. But the payoff is huge: a new economic frontier in space."