Reinventing NASA: Human Space Flight, Bureaucracy, and Politics

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - Political Science - 273 pages
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From its beginnings, NASA was convinced that its real mission was to create the opportunity for a much different and better society on Earth, namely through human space flight. Pursuit of such a goal has led the agency to persist in certain activities even when they conflict with the wishes of Congress and the President. Recent changes in the international environment, changes that began well before September 11, 2001, have brought the military back into the field of human space flight, a situation that holds certain hazards for NASA since the military is more powerful politically. Dramatic changes could be in store, changes that could severely damage NASA's capacity for continuing what it sees as its primary objective.

While most analyses see the agency as riddled with incompetence, Handberg argues that NASA's troubles are a product of its internal values. He begins with an historical overview of the major themes in NASA's history, followed by chapters on specific areas of concentration, such as the space station, space transportation, space science, and internal reforms. He also discusses the long-term future of the agency and human space flight in general, both domestically and internationally.


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NASA and Defining the Dream
In the Beginning
An Imploding Agency PostChallenger Blues
Inadvertent Political Catalyst The Space Station Freedom
Fixing Space Launch
Faster Better Cheaper?
Reinventing Government Efficiency Comes to NASA
Organizational Change as GoalDirected Behavior
The Future of NASA
Columbia and the Future
Outlays for Space
Selected References

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About the author (2003)

ROGER HANDBERG is a professor of Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His research has focused on space policy, defense policy, law and courts, both American and comparative, as well as science policy with regard to public opinion. His work has appeared in six books, 145 articles, and over 130 papers and other published materials.

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