The February 1, 2003 breakup of the space shuttle Columbia and the subsequent accident investigation made clear two realities. One is that the United States has been pursuing a program of human space flight for more than thirty years without a clear statement of the national purposes it serves or the goals that should guide its development. The other is that putting people into space and returning them safely to Earth remains a very dangerous undertaking. This talk will examine the rationale for continuing a U.S. human space flight effort, given its costs and risks. It will discuss the expected Presidential announcement setting out a new vision for the future of the U.S. space program
John M. Logsdon is Director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, where he is also Professor of Political Science and International Affairs. He holds a B.S. in Physics from Xavier University (1960) and a Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University (1970). Dr. Logsdon's research interests focus on the policy and historical aspects of U.S. and international space activities.
Dr. Logsdon is the author of The Decision to Go to the Moon: Project Apollo and the National Interest and is general editor of the eight-volume series Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program. He has written numerous articles and reports on space policy and history. He is frequently consulted by the electronic and print media for his views on space issues.
Dr. Logsdon recently served as a member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. He is a former member of the NASA Advisory Council and a current member of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee of the Department of Transportation. He is a recipient of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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