Over the next three years the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) is undergoing a critical transition by
retiring the Space Shuttle program while completing construction of
the International Space Station (ISS) by 2010. During this
timeframe, NASA is undertaking its most complex and costly
acquisition program, termed Constellation, to provide a Space
Shuttle replacement capability by 2011 followed by subsequent lunar
missions by 2018 in preparation for Mars missions. This paper
demonstrates why NASA should restructure its proposed manned
spaceflight program to ensure the success of NASA's future manned
spaceflight program following the retirement of the Space Shuttle
program in 2010. The arguments outlined in this paper for proposed
restructure of NASA's future manned spaceflight program center on
several key elements: national interest, prohibitive cost, manned
spaceflight risk and contributions to science and exploration. The
recommendations focus on ensuring long-term viability and success
of future US manned space programs.
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