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Extra resources for Advanced Space System Concepts and Technologies
In an even more intriguing continuation of this theme, in January 2001 near the fifteen anniversary of the Challenger accident, frayed wires were again found, this time in the solid rocket boosters. 2. Space Shuttle Independent Assessment Team, Report to Associate Administrator, Office of Space Flight, October-December 1999 (Washington: NASA, March 7, 2000). This followed on an earlier report entitled: Assessment of the SFOC/USA Risk Management Process for Determining Proposed Staff Reductions (Washington: NASA, Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, January 16, 1998).
The third strategy also links NASA to national agendas as articulated by presidents but ones that are more generalized than the specific administration. This refers to those questions, which span more than one administration and in fact may become indefinite national efforts. That is: the problem being pursued is one for which there is no immediate solution. Two prime examples are the pursuit of sustaining national economic competitiveness and enhancing environmental protection. These issues represent long-term national concerns that NASA has seized upon in pursuit of its particular interests.
Space remains neither cheap nor easy to access. Cheap space activities become so only in comparison to other more expensive endeavors. There are repeated scenarios envisioning dramatically cheaper and reliable methods of space flight but none have materialized yet although hope springs eternal. That sense of hope permeates the field even the supposedly hardheaded commercial sector with its profit necessity. That is why billions can be lost in the Iridium Comsat failure. In addition, the annual nature of the appropriations process allows powerful congressional members to repeatedly earmark funds for their constituency purposes.