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Reevaluation of American Space Policy: Obama’s Decision

Introduction

Reevaluation of American space policy is one of the essential parts of the Obama Administration program. President’s proposal to reorganize NASA and to cancel both Space Shuttle and Constellation programs was criticized by his opponents. Obama’s speech at Kennedy Space Center in April 2010 was aimed at providing strong arguments for reevaluating the space policy and shedding light upon perspectives of development of the Orion Capsule, construction of the heavy-lift vehicle, exploration of Mars, and near-earth asteroid.

Political Issues concerning President’s decisions

Obama pointed at the devastating effects of choosing inconsistent and unachievable goals by his predecessors. Making the goals of space exploration more precise and defining more or less concrete time frames for reaching them makes the new plan sound more persuasive.

The objective of NASA is to develop technologies that will enable astronauts to travel in space faster, farther, and at a lower cost. The main purpose of these researches is to reduce the time that astronauts spent in open space while domesticating it. Developing this technology should ensure the safety of the astronauts, and the solution to this problem is of paramount importance. The president admitted that in the next 10 years, the systems required for exploration of the objects beyond the earth’s orbit would be tested and a new spacecraft will have been developed by 2025. This will make the first mission into deep space possible (Gangale 15).

President Obama promised that the budget allocation to NASA would be increased to six billion for making the development of spacecraft possible. The President said that these measures are of great political importance not only because they will enable the country to explore new places, but by creating approximately 2500 jobs they will open up new career opportunities for those who may have some interest in the space beyond the earth orbit (Morgan 34). Reaching these goals and seeking new frontiers is expected to be consequential for the future of humanity both in space and on earth. Additionally, it would enable the researchers to get more information on the changes in the climate and other environmental problems. This will enable the country to develop strategies aimed at protecting the environment for the benefit of future generations. Testing capabilities in space and opening a new chapter in the space exploration policy will result in America’s leadership in space as well as strengthening its leadership on earth.

Benefits of the new space policy program

The changes in the space exploration policy would be helpful for the development of the state economy and strengthening its positions in the world’s arena (Jones 7). Its main benefits are creating new vacancies during the development of new programs strengthening the state economy and contributing to scientific knowledge as opposed to the critical remarks concerning the job losses caused by the cancellation of Constellation and Space Shuttle programs and reorganization of NASA.

Giving preference to services of private companies for space transportation, Obama Administration opens up new opportunities for minimizing the expenses and improving the safety standards. In reality, paying for the services of transportation instead of buying the means could be more effective for further space exploration.

Future missions and destinations for space exploration

The main advantage of Obama’s policy is defining the intermediary goals. For example, the Orion capsule is initially modified into an emergency escape capsule as well as exploring the near-earth asteroid before landing on Mars. In fact, choosing more achievable goals, Obama managed to provide the rationale for reevaluating the space policy. Investments in the development of a heavy-lift rocket are expected to be beneficial for further domesticating space by humans. Paying attention to the development of follow-on technologies and trying to solve the problems of energy supply and shielding the astronauts from radiation, the new program seems to be rather realistic. Like most other innovations, the new space policy program first was met at dagger points because the community was not ready for significant changes. Asserting that the canceled programs were beyond the budget and lacked innovations and perspectives, Obama is aimed at reaching the chosen goals instead of proclaiming the mythical objectives.

What happened in the aftermath of President Obama Decision?

The main components required for the development of national space programs are the evaluation of financial and technical resources, meeting the legal requirements (on both national and international levels), political and public support of the program. The focus has been shifted from NASA to the private sector (Jones 13). This decision is aimed at providing additional opportunities for solving financial problems. It was arrived at after realizing the fact that the private sector will help in developing spacecraft faster and at a lower cost compared to organizations in the public sector. However, privatization will reduce the government’s control functions. This will in turn reduce its ruling power, becoming less influential for the everyday life of common people.

Complaints concerning the President Obama decision

There has been a lot of criticism of President Obama’s decision to explore Mars. For example, there is a claim that there might be some contaminants in these parts of solar systems putting at risk the astronauts’ health. Another complaint that has been put across is related to the financial requirements for undertaking the project. There are claims that the budget may not be insufficient for developing the required spacecraft and therefore it could have been better to continue exploring Mars and asteroids as the government look for extra funds to develop new systems. In addition, there are arguments that there is a lot of information that could be collected from the moon before deciding to start exploring Mars and asteroids. This will lead to more expenses and since the government does not have enough money, it will be forced to rely on other nations and this will involve other nations in the exploration process.

Conclusion

Astronomy is important in a number of ways. Besides aiding people in the process of domesticating space, it allows researchers to get more information about the current state and historical development of this planet. For many years, America has been sending astronauts to the moon conducting researches in the frames of the NASA space program. However, in the 21st century, President Obama announced his decision to change the NASA space program from exploring Moon to Astroid and Mars exploration. This resulted in an increment in the money allocated to NASA programs aimed at developing a spacecraft allowing scientists to travel to Mars, spend more time there, and return to earth safely. Despite the benefits of the decision, some individuals are criticizing it, denying the importance of investments in the exploration of space, while the state does not lack for problems on earth.

Works Cited

Gangale, Thomas, Michael Hearsey, and Marilyn Dudley-Flores. Critiquing Rationales in Space Policy Proposals: Developing a Methodology for Evaluating Space Policy. AIAA Space 2009 Conference and Exhibition, 2009. Web.

Jones, Richard. President Obama Details Administration’s New Space Exploration Policy. American Institute of Physics. 2010. Web.

Morgan, Daniel. The Future of NASA: Space Policy Issues Facing Congress. Federation of American Scientists, 2010. Web.

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