American Options in Space

Archive Report

Shuttle's Commercial Lure

Spave Agency's Close-To-Earth Thinking

It has been a quarter-century since America put its first satellite into space and a decade since the last lunar expedition closed the era of flag-bearing astronauts. These exploits captured the public's imagination and ensured financial support for the U.S. space program through the 1960s. During the following decade, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scored remarkable successes with its unmanned probes of other planets, and it mapped plans for space travel in the 1980s as difficult and perhaps as exciting as the Man-on-the-Moon program that President Kennedy set in motion in 1961.

Motivated by the high cost of space travel, NASA searched for more efficient ways to exploit space and its resources. This fostered the idea of a ...

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