Can We Improve Human Access to Space Space Posture Theory: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Human Space Program Design
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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The world has entered a second space age. Americas space program is undergoing significant restructuring to address the shifting political priorities, resulting in new ways to access space. Currently, a renewed space strategy is breaking the bonds of government constraints and paving pathways for America to re-emerge as the leading spacefaring nation by leveraging commercial space exploration. The relationship between the American government and space exploration is now moving forward, finally getting over Apolloism. As a result, technological advances are cutting the cost, allowing a crowd of new actorsspace start-ups, entrepreneurs, and developing countriesinto the space environment. In America, a growing space industry is creating connections from the government to the private sector, shaping the strategic means by which humans access space. This shift in space strategy leans toward an open market laissez-faire style approach, leveraging the positive attributes commercial industries backed by government experience. This thesis tells the story of the United States governments evolving role in human spaceflight, and presents a theory to explain it. The resulting Space Posture Theory provides a framework for incorporating prestige, innovation, and funding as being instrumental in shaping access to space. The evolving combination of these three factors serves as an explanation for the decline in government involvement and the rise of the private sector as a tectonic shift in the new space age. Understanding Space Posture Theory will aid strategic planning efforts towards future human space exploration and Americas return to the forefront of space dominance.
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