23 – AstroPolitics essay – “Spacefaring Logistics Infrastructure: The Foundation of a Spacefaring America” by Mike Snead


AstroPolitics: The International Journal of Space Politics and Policy (Vol 6, No. 1; Janurary-April 2008)
recently published my essay “Spacefaring Logistics.  The entire
paper can be downloaded, for personal use, from the spacefaring resources page on http://mikesnead.net.

Introduction

Surprisingly, almost two generations after Apollo 11, neither America nor any other country is yet a true spacefaring nation. None possess the spacefaring capabilities needed for humans to routinely and safely access space and operate in space. This status stands in sharp contrast to the general recognition that, as highlighted in the United States National Space Policy, America will significantly benefit from becoming a true spacefaring nation with full freedom of action in space. What’s missing is the spacefaring logistics infrastructure that forms the core of America’s spacefaring dream. This dream of Americans, as spacefarers, being able to safely and routinely access and work in space remains the benchmark for assessing American progress in space.   

This paper focuses on how this American spacefaring dream can now start to be realized. Specifically, this paper focuses on how America can undertake the transformation from an aging space exploring nation to a vibrant spacefaring nation by, first, focusing America’s aerospace industries on building and operating an integrated spacefaring logistics infrastructure and, then, using the newly acquired mastery of human space operations to enable the emergence of a new generation of commercial space enterprises. This combination of new spacefaring infrastructure, new industrial mastery of spacefaring operations, and new commercial space enterprises will take America into a new era of the space age where America is truly spacefaring.

Table of Contents 

  • Introduction
  • Birth and decline of the American spacefaring dream
  • The renewed importance of America becoming spacefaring
  • Logistics infrastructure’s role in establishing mastery of operations in new frontiers
  • Crossing the threshold to true spacefaring operations
  • Spacefaring logistics infrastructure implementation objectives
  • Conclusion

Mike Snead

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