Space Policy

Words: 441
Pages: 2

Presidential influence on space policy has been very shaky from the beginning of the space age. Krug (p. 61) explains how five factors have affected presidential influence. Of the five she describes, the “lack of a coherent vision” is the common theme with every President ever to oversee the space program ultimately leading to a dysfunctional space program.
Krug (p. 68) shows that Presidents have used the space program as a means to an end that is not the space program itself. Given the complexity of the President’s position in the United States government, it is very simple to use space as means to an end and it has proven useful time and again especially in the area of foreign policy. The Apollo program is the pinnacle example. Leadership into space was held first by the Soviet Union. The United States
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His vision set a specific, attainable, and timely goal to achieve. But, the exploitation of the space program for a separate end creates an inability to make continuous forward progress, because focus on the space program can be lost once the non-space goal has been achieved. By not giving it a coherent vision connected to a space end long-term, the space program will simply jump from program to program to simply keep moving alive. To create a coherent vision, the President must find a connection between current space operations and a true need to be in space that cannot be satisfied any other way. This could be done in several ways as described by Metzger: specialized power production (solar energy), extremely rare resources mined from rocky space bodies (asteroids or the Moon), or building up a large enough population to create a self-sustaining economy beyond Earth. Without a clear cut space-based goal, no President will be able to convince the people of the United States of the truly long-term need to simply be in