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. Previously, he was an associate professor in the Department of Space Studies at the University of North Dakota. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from George Washington University. He has published many space-related journal articles and book chapters, presented papers at a variety of professional conferences, and provided commentary for radio and television.