1989 “Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.” George H.W. Bush. July 20. George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, Texas.

I’m proposing a long-range, continuing commitment. First, for the coming decade, for the 1990’s: Space Station Freedom, our critical next step in all our space endeavors. And next, for the new century: Back to the Moon; back to the future. And this time, back to stay. And then a journey into tomorrow, a journey to another planet: a manned mission to Mars.

1990 Report of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. (Augustine Commission 1)

It is recommended that the United States’ future civil space program consist of a balanced set of five principal elements:

•   A science program, which enjoys highest priority within the civil space program, and is maintained at or above the current fraction of the NASA budget

•   A Mission to Planet Earth focusing on environmental measurements

•   A Mission from Planet Earth, with the long-term goal of human exploration of Mars, preceded by a modified Space Station which emphasizes life sciences, an exploration base on the Moon, and robotic precursors to Mars

•   A significantly expanded technology development activity, closely coupled to space mission objectives, with particular attention devoted to engines

•   A robust space transportation system (p. 47).

1991 America at the Threshold: America’s Space Exploration Initiative. Report of the Synthesis Group on America’s Space Exploration Initiative. Available at http://history.nasa.gov/staffordrep/main_toc.pdf. (Stafford Report)

For the effective implementation of the Space Exploration Initiative:

Establish within NASA a long range strategic plan for the nation’s civil space program, with the Space Exploration Initiative as its centerpiece (p. 7).

1992 A Post Cold War Assessment of U.S. Space Policy. A Task Group Report. Vice President’s Space Policy Advisory Board. Available at http://history.nasa.gov/33080.pt1.pdf.

Proceeding ahead with a well-conceived, successfully executed national space program aimed at concrete objectives that are scientifically, economically, and socially beneficial, and that serve important U.S. interests, is the best way to ensure leadership in space (p. 15).

2003 Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report. Columbia Accident Investigation Board. Available at http://caib.nasa.gov/.

[N]one of the competing long-term visions for space have found support from the nation’s leadership, or indeed among the general public. The U.S. civilian space effort has moved forward for more than 30 years without a guiding vision, and none seems imminent. In the past, this absence of a strategic vision in itself has reflected a policy decision, since there have been many opportunities for national leaders to agree on ambitious goals for space, and none have done so (p. 210).

2004 The Vision for Space Exploration. NP-2004-01-334-HQ. NASA, Washington, D.C.

The fundamental goal of this vision is to advance U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests through a robust space exploration program. In support of this goal, the United States will:

•   Implement a sustained and affordable human and robotic program to explore the solar system and beyond;

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