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What tough economic times may mean for NASA

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  1. Executive summary.
  2. Statement of the problem.
  3. Situation analysis.
  4. Observations.
  5. Assumptions.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Alternatives.
  8. Recommendations.
  9. Bibliography.

The recent economic downturn has put pressure on our government to decrease unnecessary spending. NASA is a vulnerable organization with discretionary funding that could possibly be slashed to save funds. The newly elected administration will decide NASA's future fate. President-elect Barack Obama has promised funds to NASA but it is questionable if he will be able to keep all of his promises. He will have to cut things out of the budget. In our struggle to get stop this economic downturn, some sacrifices will need to be made and not every government funded organization will be satisfied with the funds they receive. NASA is in a dilemma with the proposed retirement of the space shuttle in 2010. It is being retired to save funds for the new Constellation spacecraft needed to get to the moon by 2020. One of the main goals of this moon mission is to build a long term base and use it to prepare for a future similar trip to Mars. The new spacecraft will not be completed until 2015, leaving a five year gap without a way to launch astronauts into orbit except with the help of Russia. A funding conflict has emerged.

[...] Obama Suggests Billion In New Funding for NASA. Washington Post, p. A-SECTION; Pg. A04. Kaufman, Marc (2007, March 9). 'Planet Killer' Not in the Stars, Asteroid Research Indicates; NASA Urged to Find Ways to Deflect Smaller Threats . Washington Post, p. A Section; A03. (2008, June 23). Making NASA Relevant Again. Aviation Week & Space Technology, Vol No [78]. Morring, Jr., Frank (2008, May 8).News; Pg Vol No Aerospace Daily & Defense Report No NASA GROUNDS ITS IDEAS FACTORY BECAUSE OF FUNDING SHORTAGE. (2007, March [...]

[...] If the space shuttles are retired and no new funds are added to keep NASA space travel afloat for the five year gap, there is a risk that the United States' relationship with Russia may dwindle to the point that it prevents our space agencies from working together. This would be a huge blow to U.S. space travel. NASA could still function and make progress, but a staple of the agency is having the ability to send astronauts into orbit. [...]

[...] NASA needs that money to build the new moon vehicle for the plans to send humans to the moon in 2020. Budget conflicts such as this one need to be addressed by the new administration. Alexander also foretells that close to tens of billions of extra dollars in funding will be needed keep NASA's ability to send humans into orbit. The space shuttle, a staple of NASA for years, is due to retire in 2010. Due to a budget and technical problems, its replacement's completion was delayed 2 years and won't be in commission until 2015. [...]

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