Defining NASA: The Historical Debate over the Agency's Mission
Most observers would point to the 1969 Apollo moon landing as the single greatest accomplishment of NASA, yet prominent scientists, engineers, and public officials were questioning the purpose of the U.S. space program, even at the height of its national popularity. Defining NASA looks at the turbulent history of the space agency and the political controversies behind its funding. W. D. Kay examines the agency s activities and behavior by taking into account not only the political climate, but also the changes in how public officials conceptualize space policy. He explores what policymakers envisioned when they created the agency in 1958, why support for the Apollo program was so strong in the 1960s only to fade away in such a relatively short period of time, what caused NASA and the space program to languish throughout most of the 1970s only to reemerge in the 1980s, and, finally, what role the agency plays today.
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administration’s Aeronautics and Space agency agency’s American Astronautics billion Braun budget chap chapter Cold War Commercial Space Committee Congressional Council Decision defense economic efforts Eisenhower example Exploring the Unknown federal flight goals human spaceflight Ibid industry initiatives issue James John Johnson Kennedy Kennedy’s launch Launius LBJL Logsdon Lyndon Johnson major McCurdy Memorandum ment military mission moon NASA NASA’s National Aeronautics National Security noted officials orbit organization Outer Space policymakers political president’s private sector problem Project Apollo Project Mercury proposal Public Papers rocket role Ronald Reagan Russian satellite Science and Technology scientific scientists Senate Soviet Union Space Act space activities Space Exploration space race Space Shuttle Space Shuttle Program Space Station Space Technology spaceflight Sputnik tion U.S. Congress U.S. National U.S. National Aeronautics U.S. space policy U.S. space program United USSR W. D. Kay Washington Webb Wernher von Braun White House York