The Future of Human Spaceflight: Objectives and Policy Implications in a Global Context
The Future of Human Spaceflight: Objectives and Policy Implications in a Global Context by David A. Mindell, Scott A. Uebelhart, Asif A. Siddiqi, and Slava Gerovitch is the eighth and final product of the series. It discusses the current state of the human spaceflight program, emphasizing the importance of establishing a broadly accepted sense of its fundamental purpose. That purpose, the authors note, must carry the burden of justifying the substantial cost and inherent risk to life that all human spaceflight involves. The original spaceflight programs were undertaken for reasons of national prestige, and that continues to be an important consideration. As one projects the cost and risk of yet broader space exploration, however, there is reason to believe that the underlying purpose would have to weigh common human aspiration more heavily than competitive national prestige, and that human spaceflight programs would have to be more collaborative efforts.