Exploration: July 2012 Archives

Failure to Launch, Failure to Lead, Paul Spudis, Air & Space

"Two Presidential announcements on space In the aftermath of a major Space Shuttle accident, an incumbent President decides that our civil space program needs a bold new strategic direction. In a major public speech, he outlines a path to return to the Moon and go to Mars. The space agency responds with full-color sales brochures, committee meetings, community workshops, and a thousand charts outlining the steps they will take to carry out the new direction. A couple of years pass, a new President takes office, and then - promptly cancels the initiative of the previous administration. Sound familiar? This has happened in our space history - twice."

NASA's problem with farmers, the committee, and Tinkerbells, Space Politics

These constituencies are entrenched within NASA and have to become overcome in order to enable real change for the agency. "The longer it goes, the harder it's going to get because those groups--and there are probably more--get stronger and stronger and stronger." It was those constituencies, [Mark Albrecht] suggested, that stymied the Bush Administration's attempts to focus NASA on the Space Exploration Initiative over 20 years ago. "If it didn't work in 1989, it is going to be much, much harder to do that in 2012 or 2013."



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