What is a spacefaring society, and how do we get there from here? In addressing these questions, this book examines how partisanship and parochialism have hindered American space dreams in recent years, and demonstrates that the lessons we should have learned from U.S. history can put us on a more productive path. Instead of being stuck in Stage One space development (space as a training ground), we can move more quickly to Stage Two (Earth-Moon space as an industrial park) and eventually to Stage Three (human activity across the solar system). The keys to achieving this are routine proximity operations throughout Earth-Moon space, sustainable space infrastructure, and a new level of collaboration between the public and private sectors – not adventure trips to distant solar system destinations.
In Becoming Spacefarers: Rescuing America’s Space Program, James A. Vedda, one of the most innovative space policy analysts working today, offers a no-nonsense account of the current doldrums of spacefl ight in the United States and how the nation might deal with it. He makes clear that we are in a crisis, that business as usual will not enable us to overcome it, and that it is not suffi cient to rest on past successes or to accept the present partisanship and parochialism. In addition to diagnosing the problems, Vedda also offers useful and in some cases provocative prescriptions for how Americans might untie the Gordian knot of current approaches to spacefl ight.
James A. Vedda is a senior policy analyst with a government contractor in the Washington, D.C. area, where he does research on civil, commercial, and national security space issues. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Florida. His dissertation analyzed the evolution of post-Apollo space policy-making in the executive and legislative branches. He also has a master’s degree in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. He has been a member of the American Astronautical Society since 1997, serving as its Vice President for Public Policy from July 2002 to November 2004, and as a member of its Board of Directors from November 2004 to November 2007. Previously, Jim was an associate professor in the Department of Space Studies at the University of North Dakota, where he taught courses on civil, commercial, and military space policy to undergraduate and graduate students. He was one of the founding members of the department, helping to create the curriculum for the Master of Science in Space Studies degree. He was associate director of North Dakota’s participation in the NASA Space Grant program, served a term as department chairman, and pioneered the department’s use of multimedia teaching techniques. Jim’s published writing has appeared in book chapters and in journals such as Space Policy, Space News, Astropolitics, Space Times, Ad Astra, Space Business News, The Journal of Space Law, and Quest. He has presented conference papers for the International Astronautical Federation, the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, the Midwest Political Science Association, the NASA History Office, and the National Air & Space Museum, and commentary for the Public Members Association of the Foreign Service, CNN, and others. Jim and his wife Lin live in Alexandria, VA, where both play in a community band. Jim plays saxophones, clarinet, and flute, and enjoys writing reviews of jazz CDs on Amazon.com.