Description: On January 14, 2004, President George W. Bush announced a new vision for America’s civil space program that calls for human and robotic missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. This vision set forth goals of: returning the Space Shuttle safely to flight; completing the International Space Station (ISS); phasing out the Space Shuttle when the ISS is complete (about 2010); sending a robotic orbiter and lander to the Moon; sending a human expedition to the Moon as early as 2015, but no later than 2020; conducting robotic missions to Mars in preparation for a future human expedition; and conducting robotic exploration across the solar system. Such a focus for the American space program has not existed since the Apollo era and establishes a much-needed direction and purpose for our national space efforts. The Commission sought extensive input for their deliberations, from within the U.S. government and directly from the public in the United States and abroad. The Commission held five televised public hearings, meeting in: Washington, D.C.; Dayton, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia; San Francisco, California; and New York City. The Commission heard public testimony from 96 individuals representing academia, industry, media, teachers, students, entrepreneurs, astronauts, labor unions, state governments, federal government agencies, international space agencies, and professional associations. The Commission’s web site received more than 6 million hits and over 6,000 written inputs. Public comments strongly supported the new space vision, by a 7-to-1 ratio. The Commission conclude that fundamental changes must take place in how the nation approaches space exploration and manages the vision for success. This national effort calls for a transformation of NASA, building a robust international space industry, a discovery-based science agenda, and educational initiatives to support youth and teachers inspired by the vision.
Date: June 2014
Creator: The President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department