Introduction The Apollo program of the 1960s and early 1970s demonstrated American ingenuity and served as the foundation for accessing and exploring the great unknown. Unfortunately, over the past several decades, space has not carried the same prominence in America. In fact, until very recently, government space projects have languished, been given low priority, and even been partially dependent on competitors and hostile foreign powers (such as Russia). Yet, while the U.S. government’s space efforts have been flagging in recent years, those of the private sector are gathering steam. Today, the U.S. government can proudly rely on private American corporations (such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX) for access to space. Corporations in the United States are developing expertise and capacity quickly—and that may help foster commercial activities and opportunities in space. The U.S. private sector understands that space has much to offer eco- nomically. Conversely, the policymaking community has been concentrat- ing predominantly on understanding the nature, scope, and implications of adversary military threats in space, as well as the importance of main- taining a safe space environment for the United States to conduct opera- tions. Washington has struggled to consider the major economic benefits of developing space. Likewise, space experts have failed to articulate the great benefits of space industrialization—the manufacturing of struc- tures in space, development of space solar power satellites, generation of nuclear power systems, and space mining—or to explain that valuable space activities cannot be achieved without focused investment and gov- ernment prioritization. What is needed now is a broadening of the policy
Previous Page Next Page