Linking Space Exploration Programs to National Goals

by Elwyn Harris, Jerry M. Sollinger

Download Free Electronic Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.7 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Space programs extend over long periods of time and require considerable financial investment. Thus the programs to be funded must be designed and evaluated for a probability of success. This issue paper describes a methodology for determining which programs have the best chance of success. The authors illustrate the approach using the Moon/Mars exploration program for which it was developed. The steps include defining national policy goals (e.g., enhancing national security, increasing scientific knowledge, and strengthening the economy), identifying paths the program might take (e.g., early establishment of a Mars outpost, use of current technology only, involvement of the private sector to establish a lunar base), and evaluating how well the paths accomplish the goals.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation issue paper series. The issue paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003 that contained early data analysis, an informed perspective on a topic, or a discussion of research directions, not necessarily based on published research. The issue paper was meant to be a vehicle for quick dissemination intended to stimulate discussion in a policy community.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.