A New Age in Space Exploration?

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“A Renewed Spirit of Discovery” was the title of President Bush’s speech for his vision of new Space Exploration. Since the debate was given on January 14, 2004, it has produced viable concerns from those who support and oppose the initiative. Arguments for and against it have appeared in all types of media, and more importantly in the minds of Americans. This Literature Review will discuss many of these beliefs in order to achieve a well-rounded, objective analysis of the issue. But before any opinions are put forth, it is always important to talk about the relative facts.

Why put forth a new vision?

Over past 30 years, it is hard to say that we have “explored” space. It is more appropriate to say we have conquered manned flight in Earth’s lower orbit. Truly, the Apollo Missions to the moon, which ended in the mid 70’s, was also the end to Manned Space Exploration. We have continued to build satellites and space stations to orbit the earth, and robots and satellites to explore Mars and Deep Space. By proposing to put humans on the Moon and Mars, the President has not changed our manned space exploration policy; he has created one.

President George W. Bush proposed a new age in Space Exploration on January 14, 2004. The Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was only part of his reasoning for announcing a new direction for NASA. A reason not as well known is the current lack of any direction for NASA. Other than sending probes and robots to Deep Space and Mars, NASA has continued to upgrade current projects like the Hubble Space Telescope. [3] Not since the design of the Space Shuttle around 1980 has a new and demanding project been given to NASA. It is essential that the brilliant minds at NASA be pushed to greatness. The President’s new plan for Moon and Mars landings will provide the direction and new energy needed for NASA [2]. NASA Director Sean O’ Keefe has fully agreed with the need to challenge NASA and push its abilities to another level.

Space Exploration History

Humans are constantly exploring new horizons, which in turn raise the bar for new ideas to conquer the next step in exploration. New goals force the development of new technologies, which in turn are used to design technologies that affect everyday Americans.

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