The Return Of The American Military To Crewed Spaceflight: Hypersonic And Other Visions
Abbreviated Journal Title
International Relations; Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary
Since the 1950s, crewed spaceflight has been the province of NASA, a decision reaffirmed in the 1960s with the cancellation of all military projects which might have competed. That understanding has driven American space policy since that time despite the fact that the military has not given up its dream of crewed spaceflight. Over the past decade, that division of labor has begun to break down in part due to the military's heightened awareness of the usefulness of space as operational location. The Air Force, the service most committed to this vision of military space, has in its planning for the next generation returned to the concept of military space activities across the spectrum. In essence, the implied social contract which drove American crewed spaceflight since the sixties is now undergoing revision and possible reversal. Given the political climate, NASA may be particularly vulnerable to such challenges. The impact of such a change upon the world wide human spaceflight effort is unknown but likely to be extremely disruptive as military considerations move to the fore. The debate is ongoing, the major limitation remains budget so that any agreed upon changes are likely to be slow to occur. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
"The Return Of The American Military To Crewed Spaceflight: Hypersonic And Other Visions" (1997). Faculty Bibliography 1990s. 1935.