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Experts Urge Reformulation Of US Space Policy

July 30, 2009

The Obama Administration has an opportunity to fundamentally reformulate United States space policies that are anchored in Cold War-era mindsets, according to the director of an American Academy of Arts and Sciences study. At a Capitol Hill briefing today in conjunction with the release of three new policy monographs, experts outlined the current state of U.S. and foreign space policy and encouraged the Administration to set a clear direction that advances the country’s national security, civilian, and commercial interests in space.

Space has proven to be an arena for “uplifting collaboration among nations as well as ominous confrontation,” said John Steinbruner, University of Maryland Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Academy’s project on Reconsidering the Rules of Space. The end of the U.S.-Soviet competition that defined the modern space age, as well as an increase in the ranks of space-faring nations and an expansion of commercial space ventures, dictates a new approach that embraces “the equitable utilization of space by all nations for common benefit,” he said.

The Academy released three white papers today dealing with separate aspects of space policy. All are available online on the Academy’s web site along with previously released volumes at http://www.amacad.org/projects/space.aspx. The new papers include:

United States Space Policy: Challenges and Opportunities Gone Astray by George Abbey and Neal Lane

A Place for One’s Mat: China’s Space Program 1956, by Gregory Kulacki and Jeffrey G. Lewis

A European Approach to Space Security by Xavier Pasco

A fourth white paper, Reconsidering the Rules for Space Security by Nancy Gallagher and John D. Steinbruner, was issued last year.

Later this year, the Academy will publish the final paper in the series, The Future of Human Spaceflight: Objectives and Policy Implications in a Global Context, by David A. Mindell, Scott A. Uebelhart, Asif Siddiqi, and Slava Gerovitch.

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