Category Mars Wars

The 90-Day Study

"We are going to return to the Moon and journey to Mars because we must, because the United States needs to challenge itself in order to be ready for the new world of the 21st century, now just over ten

years away. ”

NASA Administrator Richard Truly, 26 October 1989

The public reaction to President Bush’s announcement of SEI was swift, and not altogether positive. The following day, the headline on the front page of The New York Times read, “President Calls for Mars Mission and a Moon Base: Critics Cite High Costs—Bush Offers No Timetable or Budget for Plan, Leaving That to Space Council.” The article stated the speech set the stage for “the first full-scale debate in years on the nation’s troubled space program.” The piece cited expert opinions predicting the initiative would cost at least $100 billion, and could rise to as much as $400 billion.1 The reaction from the Democrat-controlled Congress was largely critical. Senator Al Gore of Tennessee, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Technology, stated that “by proposing a return to the Moon and a manned base on Mars, with no money, no timetable, and no plan, President Bush offers the country not a challenge to inspire us, but a daydream.” His fellow senator from Tennessee, James Sasser, concurred, stating “the President took one giant leap for starry-eyed political rhetoric, and not even a small step for fiscal responsibility. The hard fact is this administration doesn’t even have its space priorities established for next year, much less for the next century. We have numerous space and science – [173] related programs already on the table, all of them worthy, all of them high-ticket and all of them competing for scarce dollars.”[174] House Budget Committee Chair­man Leon Panetta was quoted saying, “The budget deficit is stealing the resources we need to…resume our nation’s mission in space. When this President is ready to recognize that we can’t do all he would like to do even on this planet without new revenues, then perhaps we can talk about Mars.”[175] Even fellow Republicans were wary. Representative Bill Green of New York, the ranking minority member on the subcommittee with oversight of the NASA budget, stated that “given the federal budget deficit and earthly demands, I don’t see how we can afford expensive manned programs in space in the near future.”[176]

The Baltimore Sun captured the mood very well, writing that the announcement of a human mission to Mars “was tempered by the financial worries that took much of the thrill out of America’s romance with outer space after the historic flight of Apollo 11 .”[177] For this very reason, the American public was not terribly supportive of the new initiative. A Gallup Poll released shortly after the announcement suggested that only 27% of Americans believed space spending should be increased, and only 51% thought being the first nation to land a human on Mars was a meaningful goal.[178] [179] Not surprisingly, The Wall Street Journal reported support from the aerospace industry for SEI, although many executives believed a strong lobbying effort would be required to get Congressional approval for the expensive undertaking. In a pre­pared response, Martin Marietta Chairman Norman Augustine stated, “we applaud the president’s call for renewed vigor in pursuit of the space frontier and the many benefits it implies.” Despite similar supportive statements flowing from other aero­space giants, there remained a sense of pessimism within most corners of the indus­try—the result of looming questions regarding the source of the billions of dollars needed to carry out the ambitious plan. “It’s not the same clarion call that President Kennedy gave when he set a moon-landing [goal],” said aerospace analyst Wolfgang Demisch.

There were somewhat diverse opinions regarding President Bush’s speech amongst NASA’s senior leaders. On one hand, many were impressed that Bush was able to depart from the written text during his speech, which they felt proved that Vice President Quayle really understood NASA’s plan and had effectively briefed the president. Douglas O’Handley recalls that this was probably the most positive thing ever said about Quayle by NASA officials.[180] On the other hand, some agency officials believed the address laid the foundation for a ruinous relationship between the Space Council and NASA. Aaron Cohen felt this was the case because neither organiza­tion was paying attention to what the other was saying. Top NASA leaders thought the speech was a Kennedyesque declaration calling for a large-scale national effort to build a lunar base and send humans to Mars. Quayle and Albrecht, in contrast, wanted to introduce a new way of doing business within the space program—one that involved smaller budgets and more aggressive technology development (which they believed would lead to large cost efficiencies). Cohen recalled, “the day that the initiative was announced was a day of great elation [at NASA]. It took everyone back to the days of Apollo.”[181] For a White House that wanted to change the Apollo paradigm, this was not the desired reaction from the space agency.

After the euphoria of the announcement died down, Douglas O’Handley argues “Frank Martin and Admiral Truly realized that they needed to back up the skel­etal AHWG studies.”[182] This effort would include validating data that had been presented to the Space Council and assessing the technology readiness levels for the equipment needed to carry out the initiative—this review became known as the 90-Day Study. Mark Albrecht remembered later that NASA “stepped forward and almost demanded to lead this effort, which indicated the beginnings of a little friction” between the space agency and the Space Council staff. From the NASA perspective, however, the study was initiated because President Bush’s speech had provided the agency with a charter to develop a plan for a lunar base and human mission to Mars. There was a fundamental belief among senior leaders at the agency that this was exactly what the Space Council wanted. In fact, some of Albrecht’s public statements at the time seemed to indicate this was the case. He was quoted in Government Executive magazine saying that now that a national space policy goal had been set, the council would “leave it to the departments and agencies to decide how they’re going to achieve that. Once they’ve made that determination, we’ll review that to see whether or not it comports with national policy, or whether it’s realistic or plausible. But in terms of getting into their programs and plans for the purposes of ‘We know a better way,’ that’s just not what we’re here to do.”11 Later in the process, however, the White House had changed its tune, and both Albrecht and Vice President Quayle were arguing that they never wanted NASA to conduct the 90-Day Study. Aaron Cohen argues this problem arose because the Council didn’t have its own ideas regarding how to start the process. Although it had announced the initiative, the administration didn’t have a good sense regarding how to proceed after the speech. He contends this was the main reason problems emerged between the two organizations.[183] [184]

In the end, Albrecht asked NASA to provide “a variety of different approaches… we want a variety of time frames, we want a variety of cost profiles, we want a variety of technologies, so the President can choose among different options rather than being told ‘this is how to do it.’”[185] This was not the method, however, that Admi­ral Truly favored. The Administrator simply wanted to pull together the wealth of data that had been generated during the preceding five years and draft a report that would be ready within three months.[186] Over the coming months, Truly was warned during two meetings of the full Space Council that his plan “was not the approach most members wanted to pursue.”[187] The Council members wanted NASA to develop options based on innovative new technologies that could potentially offer reduced long-term costs.[188] Admiral Truly essentially disregarded this direction from the Council. At the same time, by allowing the space agency to pursue its own course, the Council in effect delegated the authority granted to it by President Bush to conduct a review of options for implementing SEI.

A week after President Bush’s speech, Admiral Truly assigned Aaron Cohen to lead an agency-wide effort to fashion a plan for establishing a lunar base and explor­ing Mars, drawing upon existing NASA planning documents. During the remain­der of the year, the space agency never wavered from this approach.[189] Although he was asked to examine both technical and management issues, Cohen chose to ignore questions regarding changes in NASA’s management culture. Some believed this decision was fueled by his view that the new initiative was laying out another Apollo program—in essence, a reinstitution of Kennedy’s mandate.”[190] As a result, there was no need to change the management culture that had successfully landed humans on the Moon. The only task was to define an aggressive program to meet President Bush’s new mandate. In his book Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir, author Bryan Burrough detailed a revealing conversation between Albrecht and Cohen after the latter had been named to lead the 90-Day Study:

“Most of all we want alternatives, plenty of alternatives,” Albrecht told Cohen.

“What do you mean, alternatives?” Cohen asked. From the blank look on the JSC director’s face, Albrecht could tell he wasn’t getting through.

“Alternatives,” Albrecht repeated. “I mean, there has to be more than one way to do this. Give us a Cadillac option, then give us the El Cheapo alter­native, with the incumbent risks. Talk about all the different technologies that could be learned.”[191]

Albrecht believed this interaction, and NASA’s reaction over the coming months, was the beginning of a never healed rift between the Space Council staff and NASA.[192] Cohen later recalled the conversation differently. Although he remembered Albre­cht asking for several options, he has no recollection of being asked to provide alternatives with significantly different cost profiles. Without this direction, mission planners at JSC felt the only course of action was to develop a program plan based on the President’s speech.[193]

Frank Martin believed the cause of this burgeoning conflict was the differing approaches of the two organizations. The Space Council staff, with backgrounds largely in the national security space sector, wanted NASA to develop alternatives starting “with a clean sheet of paper.” The JSC view was that it would be a shame not to take advantage of the research that had been conducted during recent years. In fact, Mark Craig remembered later that “there were never any debates about using a clean sheet.’ Our goal was to find the best approach to meet a set of requirements, not to just find something new for its own sake.”[194] In the end, NASA employed the JSC methodology and began developing an SEI strategy that was highly dependent on past studies and didn’t consider multiple alternatives with different budgetary requirements.[195] Douglas O’Handley contends, “this is where the initiative fell apart, when it was taken over by the Johnson Space Center.”[196]

Mars Wars

A great many people provided me with assistance during the preparation of this book. I am particularly indebted to John Logsdon and Roger Launius for their invaluable insights regarding the history of the American space program, the role of various actors within the space policy community, and the context in which Mars exploration should be viewed. I also owe a great deal to Steve Balia and Jeff Henig, who helped me employ the political science and public policy theories that are used in this book. I would also like to thank Ray Williamson and Joe Cordes for their support and helpful comments. I am also very grateful for all the hard work contributed by Steve Dick and Steve Garber getting this book ready for publica­tion. I would like to thank Heidi Pongratz at Maryland Composition, Angela Lane and Danny Nowlin at Stennis Space Center, and Jeffrey McLean at NASA Head­quarters for handling the copyediting, layout, and printing of the book. Finally, I would like to thank the dedicated archivists at both the NASA History Divi­sion in Washington, D. C. and the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M – they were all crucial to the successful completion of this project. In particular, I would like to thank Colin Fries and Jane Odom at the NASA History Division and Debbie Carter, Bob Holzweiss, John Laster, Laura Spencer, and Melissa Walker at the George Bush Presidential Library.

This book is dedicated to Joe Hogan, for teaching me how to dream big dreams; to Ron Beck, for believing in my potential when few others did; and to Kate Kuva – lanka, for inspiring me on a daily basis

Punctuated Equilibrium, Space Policy, and SEI

The Punctuated Equilibrium Model provides a useful tool for better understand­ing trends within the space policy arena. In particular, it supplies metrics that can be applied to evaluate whether these long-term movements predetermined SEI’s fate. A mixture of policy image and venue indicators was drawn upon to conduct this assessment. These results provide a mixed picture regarding the potential for human exploration of Mars to reach the national agenda and obtain support for success­ful adoption. During the first 30 years of the space age, backing for both the space program and human exploration of Mars fluctuated a great deal within the Ameri­can public and key institutional venues. Throughout this period, Mars exploration never reached the same levels of support that other projects (e. g., Project Apollo, Space Shuttle, and Space Station) enjoyed. While several indicators suggest there was growing support for the space program in general (and crewed Mars explora­tion in particular) by the late 1980s, a dramatic 20-year decline in space program budgets called into question the viability of a costly new initiative.

Baumgartner and Jones elected to study media coverage to gauge trends in policy image. The primary information source they utilized was The Readers’ Guide to Peri­odical Literature.[344] They coded the number and tone of articles written in a given year to set the context for the agenda process in a given issue area. The first step in this process was to choose the proper keywords to ensure that all of the appropriate articles were included. The results were then entered into a spreadsheet, where they were further coded by different subtopics. One concern was that looking at only one index would not fully capture the nature of public opinion regarding specific issues. Baumgartner and Jones found, however, that “when we compare levels and tone of coverage in the Readers’ Guide with those of other major news outlets…it makes little difference which index one uses.”[345] For this book, the above methodol­ogy for monitoring the public agenda was adopted in almost every respect. Articles were tabulated from 1957 to 1996, coding them for topic and tone. Due to the extraordinarily large number of articles examining different aspects of the space program, only articles relating to human exploration were coded. Six broad topics were chosen to compare different exploration areas: Moon, Mars, Space Shuttle, Space Station, Orbital Flight (non-Shuttle or Station), and an “Other” category that encompassed articles relating to other destinations in the solar system or interstellar flight. To code each article’s tone, a basic question was asked: would an advocate of an American human exploration program, managed by a civilian sector agency, be happy or unhappy with the title? Over 6,500 articles were coded in this way.

Punctuated Equilibrium, Space Policy, and SEI

Space Exploration in the Popular Press—By Program (number of articles) Based on an analysis of the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature, 1957-1996

Punctuated Equilibrium, Space Policy, and SEI

Tone of Mars Exploration Coverage (number of articles)

Based on an analysis of the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature, 1957-1996

During the early years of the space age, while the popular press was clearly focused on NASA’s efforts to orbit the first American and send humans to the Moon, Mars exploration was largely overlooked. Media coverage for crewed missions to the red planet was trivial compared to other space efforts. Although there were only a small number of articles, media coverage of Mars exploration during the Apollo era was largely supportive, with nearly 90% of the items positive in tone. Coverage slowly increased and reached an initial peak of nearly 20 articles in 1969, when post – Apollo planning was taking place within the federal government. By the 1970s, in the aftermath of the failed effort to push crewed missions to Mars onto the national agenda, media coverage plummeted to at most one article every couple of years. During this period, the majority of media attention focused on Space Shuttle devel­opment, the Skylab space station, and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Flight Program. Over the course of the 1980s, media coverage of Mars exploration began growing again, although it was still dwarfed by the Shuttle and Space Station Freedom programs. This increase was the result of “softening up” activities like the Case for Mars confer­ences, the National Commission on Space, and the Ride Report. By the end of the decade, as SEI reached the national agenda, reporting of crewed Mars exploration represented a significant portion of total coverage. While the reporting was highly supportive, there was no massive increase in attention as there had been for Project Apollo. Regardless, coverage of Mars exploration reached all time highs after Presi­dent Bush announced SEI, with over 20 articles written annually. In the aftermath of the initiatives failure, however, media attention plummeted. By the mid-1990s, fewer than ten articles were being written per year as the Clinton administration focused on completion of the International Space Station.

Baumgartner and Jones found that survey research, if available in a system­atic form, is another data resource for observing changes in policy image. Survey research has become a progressively more important tool for policy analysts and policy makers.[346] The polling data utilized for this book was compiled by the NASA History Division and reveals interesting trends in mass public opinions regarding the American space program. During the post-Apollo planning period, the vast majority of the American public believed that the NASA budget was too large. This provides a compelling reason for the failure of human exploration of Mars to garner support from President Nixon. Over the next 20 years, however, this attitude toward the NASA budget shifted significantly. In the years leading up to the announcement of SEI, there was a relatively high level of support for the space program. By the late 1980s, the majority of Americans believed that NASA spending was either just right or needed to be increased. In 1989, the year that SEI was announced, that figure reached sixty percent for only the fifth time in the post-Apollo era. Despite this rela­tively high level of public support for NASA, human exploration of Mars was still seen as a lesser priority. Robotic exploration of the solar system and construction of a crewed space station consistently received more support from the general public. Regardless, when the initiative was announced, more than 60% of the public sup­ported establishment of a human outpost on Mars.

As SEI began experiencing difficulties and NASA was dealing with problems in the Hubble and Shuttle programs, however, those numbers began dropping once again—falling to below 50% by December 1990. Although these numbers would eventually recover slightly, by that time the policy window for Mars exploration had already closed.

Punctuated Equilibrium, Space Policy, and SEI

Public Opinion of NASA Spending (as percentage)

Punctuated Equilibrium, Space Policy, and SEI

While examining media coverage and opinion polls provides information relat­ing to policy image, other measures are needed to evaluate venue access. Four dif­ferent indicators were selected for this book to monitor changes in venue access for space policy issues. The first indicator relied upon an analysis of the Congres­sional Information Service Abstracts (CIS annual)—a yearly compilation of data on Congressional hearings. In the late 1990s, Baumgartner and Jones established the Center for American Politics and Public Policy to provide researchers with tools to better understand the dynamics of policy change. Under the auspices of the center, more than 67,000 congressional hearings were classified using a common policy content code to ensure compatibility over time.[347] [348] [349] For the purposes of this book, the entire CIS annual dataset was downloaded. A separate dataset was created, which included only hearings that related to the American space program. This dataset included over 550 hearings covering the years from 1958 to 1994.11 The second indicator utilized to monitor changes in venue access, which will be discussed in concert with the CIS annual, relied upon an analysis of the Public Papers of the Presi­dents.11 For this study, a methodology similar to that used for coding the Readers’ Guide was employed. Presidential addresses and speeches were coded by topic from 1957 to 1996. This included all papers relating to the civilian space program. These papers were then used to assess trends in venue access for agenda items relating to the American space program.

During the 1960s, presidential support for the nations space program reached its apex. President Kennedy’s decision to send humans to the Moon initiated a decade of close White House attention.[350] Through the ’60s, Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon delivered well over 400 addresses and speeches relating to the civilian

space program. At the height of interest in Project Apollo, presidential addresses and speeches frequently topped 40 per year—and reached as high as 70. This indicated significant access to an important policy venue (e. g. The White House). Similarly, Congressional interest in space exploration peaked during this period.[351] In particu­lar, there was a pronounced spike in congressional interest following the Apollo 1 fire that killed three astronauts (see Figure on page 152).

Punctuated Equilibrium, Space Policy, and SEI

Trends in Presidential Attention (number of speeches/addresses)

Based on an analysis of the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 1958-1996

Punctuated Equilibrium, Space Policy, and SEI

Trends in Congressional Attention (number of hearings)

Based on an analysis of the ‘Policy Agendas Project,’ Center for American Politics and Policy

By the mid-1970s, the number of presidential speeches and addresses had plunged below ten annually as NASA concentrated on building the Space Shuttle and send­ing robotic probes to explore the solar system. While Congressional attention dipped below Apollo era levels as well, the number of space-related hearings remained rela­tively stable at about 15 a year. This was primarily due to annual appropriation and authorization hearings. As the Space Shuttle began operations during the 1980s, presidential addresses and speeches began slowly rising again—with increased inter­est surrounding the decision to build the Space Station and in the aftermath of the Challenger accident. Although Congressional interest remained steady during this period, there were noticeable spikes in interest surrounding the first Space Shuttle flight and as Congress held hearings following Challenger.

While presidential interest in the space program was relatively high during the SEI era, congressional support was not particularly robust. President Bush was clearly interested in the space program, as evidenced by his espousal of human mis­sions to the Moon and Mars. During his presidency, he made a number of signifi­cant space policy speeches, most directly related to gaining support for SEI. Still, compared with presidential attention during the first decade of spaceflight and even during the Reagan administration, Bush made fewer annual speeches and addresses relating to the space program. On its face, it would appear that Mars exploration had only modest access to this important policy venue during the Bush presidency. This discounts, however, the important role played by Vice President Quayle and the Space Council staff during this period. Combining the involvement of Bush and Quayle with a dedicated internal policy staff to work on space issues, this admin­istration was probably more engaged in this arena than any other during the post – Apollo period. In contrast, Congressional interest was relatively low at this time. After a peak following the loss of the Challenger, Congressional attention waned as the Bush administration was pushing for SEI. The next peak did not occur until the problems with the Hubble and Space Shuttle programs came to the fore. This indi­cates that during the post-Apollo period, Congress has been highly reactive to prob­lems within the space program. At the same time, it has not been terribly engaged during relatively calm periods. The lack of access to this critical venue was likely a contributing factor in the eventual failure of SEI.

A third indicator utilized to monitor venue access relied upon an analysis of technical strategies for human exploration of the Moon and Mars. This metric pro­vided insight into Mars explorations ability to garner attention within a key policy venue—the federal bureaucracy (e. g. NASA). In 1996, NASA Johnson Space Center Historian David Portree created a website called Romance to Reality: Moon and Mars Plans. It was a comprehensive catalog of classic, seminal, and illustrative human exploration plans. The majority of these studies were conducted under the auspices of government agencies and private sector companies.[352] The site included detailed summaries and descriptions of reports dating back more than five decades.[353] Portree emphasized studies that emerged as important to later mission planning, but also included reports that helped illustrate essential strategic architectures. For this book, the above reports were used to observe trends, both inside and outside the federal government, in the generation of Moon-Mars exploration plans. Each report from 1950 to 1996 was coded using the same three categories Portree employed: Moon plan, Mars plan, and Moon/Mars plan. Nearly 300 technical studies were coded in this way.[354]

During the course of the 1950s, eight major studies were conducted by govern­ment agencies and aerospace companies as part of the “softening up” process for Mars exploration. The following decade, as NASA was working full throttle to meet President Kennedy’s lunar landing deadline, more than 50 Mars exploration studies were conducted in preparation for a post-Apollo space program. Despite its growing

Punctuated Equilibrium, Space Policy, and SEI

Technical Reports Focusing on Mars Exploration (number of studies) Based on an analysis of Romance to Reality: Moon and Mars Plans, 1957-1996

profile within the space agency, however, Mars exploration had relatively low vis­ibility with the American public. Likewise, it was not supported by President Nixon or Congress—which led to its exclusion from post-Apollo planning. In the 1970s, NASA’s official interest in crewed exploration of the red planet basically disappeared. An illustration of this fact is that the space agency did not conduct one major Mars – related study from 1972 to 1985. At the same time, however, private actors kept the dream alive by generating over 20 reports. These were partially responsible for the Reagan administration’s decision to place human exploration beyond Earth orbit on the national agenda. By the time President Bush announced SEI, Mars exploration had greater access to the bureaucratic venue than at any other time in the first 40 years of spaceflight. During the four years of the Bush administration, over 35 dif­ferent studies were conducted. The dilemma for the Space Council, however, was that the politically infeasible 90-Day Study became so closely associated with the initiative.

While the three preceding venue access indicators suggest that by the late-1980s there were favorable trends supporting a major new human spaceflight initiative, a final indicator paints a very different picture—the federal budget. At the height of Project Apollo, NASA’s budget was $6 billion, or about 4.5% of the entire federal budget. This represented an extremely large financial commitment to the American space program, which was allocated primarily in an effort to beat the Soviets to the Moon. By the time Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed in the Sea ofTranquil – ity, NASA’s budget had already begun a rapid decline. Although Congress remained

Punctuated Equilibrium, Space Policy, and SEI

NASA Budget (In billions)

OMB, “Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2004: Historical Tables”

engaged in the space program during the next two decades, it was nevertheless steadily cutting NASA’s budget from its Apollo peak. The mid-1970s saw a bud­getary low of $3-25 billion, with budgets increasing slightly into the early 1980s. More significantly, the NASA budget dropped to under 1% of the entire federal budget—where it would remain permanently except for a three-year period in the early 1990s. Despite the fact that it had experienced steadily decreasing resources, NASA continued to conduct its program planning by assuming that it would receive future budget increases. This tendency to overcommit itself did not foretell a positive result for NASA-led development of another major exploration initiative. While the Bush administration increased funding for NASA, the available resources were far below those available during the mid-1960s. There was little public or congressional support for dramatically increasing the NASA budget. This did not bode well for SEI, which as envisioned by the TSG would have required doubling or tripling the annual allocation for NASA.

Baumgartner and Jones’s approach to studying agenda change provides an inter­esting perspective for understanding larger themes within the American space pro­gram. Using policy image and venue access indicators not only reveals interesting trends, it provides insight into factors that helped SEI reach the national agenda but dramatically reduced its chances of gaining Congressional support. As discussed above, there have been striking shifts in media coverage over the past four decades. During the nine years after President Kennedy announced the Moon decision, over 2,100 human spaceflight-related articles were written (an average of 235 annually). During the subsequent nine years, as NASA was developing the Shuttle, under 1,200 articles were written (125 annually). The ten years after the Shuttle began opera­tions, including those years following the Challenger accident, saw another upward shift with nearly 2,200 articles written (220 annually). This included increased cov­erage of Mars exploration, which was largely positive in tone. Finally, during the eight years after President Bush announced SEI, coverage plummeted to fewer than 1,000 articles (110 annually). This trend suggests that there have been relatively extended periods of general excitement about the space program within the general public (which resulted in significant media coverage), but that these periods have been followed by equally long periods where the public becomes disengaged. These declines in overall media attention seem to be correlated with periods of poor eco­nomic performance and tightening federal budgets. SEI came to the fore toward the end of a cycle of increased media coverage, which enhanced the likelihood it would successfully reach the national agenda. At the same time, however, an examination of past polling data reveals that economic forces were working against any dramatic increase in NASA’s annual appropriation. In the end, these budgetary pressures were far more important than any perceived public support for Mars exploration.

An analysis of the Public Papers of the Presidents and the CIS annual reveals that the White House and Congress are largely reactive when it comes to addressing space policy issues. Past presidents have delivered the majority of their speeches in reaction to programmatic successes and failures. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon gave regular speeches during the triumphant Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, while President Reagan spoke out primarily in the aftermath of the Chal­lenger accident.[355] The fact that President Bush delivered a relatively large number of space-related speeches during his tenure suggests that the space program had significant White House access during this period. This is particularly true because there were no great successes or failures of a similar magnitude during Bush’s presi­dency. Combined with Vice President Quayle’s heavy involvement in space policy making, this represented one of the most active administrations in this issue area. Access to this important institutional venue made possible the elevation of SEI to the national agenda. The relative lack of congressional interest, however, tremen­dously reduced the initiative’s chances of actual adoption. The space program has enjoyed relatively stable congressional attention, with significant peaks after major failures (i. e., Apollo 1, Challenger, Hubble). When SEI was being considered, there was a clear lull in congressional interest as the legislature focused on an imposing budget crisis. While this did not necessarily preclude adoption of any new human spaceflight program, it did indicate that promotion of projects requiring large bud­getary increases was ill-conceived.

An examination of past technical reports shows that there were two clear periods of interest in Mars exploration, one leading up to post-Apollo planning and another leading up to the announcement of SEI. Prior to both attempts to garner support for adoption of such a program, NASA and non-government actors conducted a steadily increasing number of studies that provided the technical background for the eventual policy alternatives that were considered. Particularly in the case of SEI, this indicates that significant bureaucratic forces were aligned to force an aggressive exploration program onto the national agenda. As discussed above, the fiscal con­straints quashed these plans. The federal budget is the single most effective indica­tor for evaluating the potential for bringing about dramatic programmatic change at NASA. Budgetary trends expose Project Apollo as a clear outlier in the history of the space program, where a unique political environment led to the program’s adoption. Subsequent experience has proven that without the emergence of a similar crisis environment, the space program will not receive a large infusion of resources to carry out aggressive human spaceflight programs. SEI’s failure is the quintessential example of this lesson. Regardless of bureaucratic desires, technical plans for human exploration beyond Earth orbit must be fiscally feasible.

The policy image and venue access indicators utilized for this study provide a relatively consistent picture regarding the potential for SEI to reach the national agenda and to be successfully adopted. With regard to agenda setting, a combina­tion of metrics suggests that Mars exploration would receive favorable consideration as the long-term goal of the human spaceflight program. These included increased media coverage of Mars exploration, general public support for the establishment of a Martian outpost, and a growing number of reports providing the technical details for such an undertaking. Combined with strong support from the Bush White House, this virtually guaranteed that the initiative would be pushed onto the national agenda. With regard to actual adoption, however, a number of other indicators suggest that SEI faced an uphill battle. Most important among these were fiscal constraints, limited public support for increased NASA budgets, and no con­gressional backing for expensive new programs. While a less costly Mars exploration program may have been able to gain approval under these circumstances, after the release of the 90-Day Study, the ultimate failure of SEI was assured.

While the above analysis provides some evidence that both the Policy Streams Model and Punctuated Equilibrium Model provide valuable insight into the rise and fall of SEI, a concluding discussion is in order to generalize these findings beyond this specific case study. This is logically assessed by answering a simple question: Do we know something about SEI we wouldn’t have without using these two models? There are at least three potential answers—a lot, a little, or nothing at all. It seems

like the most defensible answer lies in the middle. To start with, although we may instinctively have a sense of who the important actors are within a given policy community, Kingdon provides an effective framework for quantifying these beliefs. The survey used for this book was designed to determine whether the appropriate actors were involved in the policy process for SEI. While we may have come to the same conclusion even if we didn’t have the survey results, they provide some actual data to back up our assumptions. This survey, or some instrument like it, could just as easily be used to better understand the policy community for other science and technology issue areas. More importantly, it has the ability to provide policy makers with a real world tool for deciding who to engage during the agenda setting and alternative generation processes.

The operational indicators introduced by Baumgartner and Jones, and those developed specifically for this book, also provide a potentially valuable tool for sci­ence and technology researchers. Most of these indicators provide good data for large issue areas. For example, the data collected for this book provides revealing trends for space policy as a whole. The data is not as good, however, when one drills down to the next level of detail. Public opinion polls, presidential speeches, and congressional hearings can only be used to gauge large scale trends within an entire field. They cannot easily be used to examine specific issues within this area, such as interest in Mars exploration or space science or orbiting space stations. Although it requires a good amount of effort, it is possible to use data sources like media coverage and technical studies to gain some appreciation of interest in these more specific issue areas. Overall, however, these indicators are a bit cumbersome to use—although this would be made easier if this data, regarding space policy issues in particular, were readily available to policy makers. That is not currently the case, which makes the use of this set of indicators somewhat impractical in the real world.

Therefore, the Policy Streams Model and Punctuated Equilibrium Modelvs>iz pro­vided an understanding of the failure of SEI that the case study alone may not have provided. We have better insight regarding who the important actors are within the space policy community, which reveals weaknesses in the agenda setting and alter­native generation processes for SEI. We have a better insight regarding larger trends within the space policy arena (i. e., public opinion, congressional attention, federal budgets) that conspired against the adoption of this costly human spaceflight initia­tive. This type of data not only informs an academic work like this book, but can (and probably should) be used by policy makers in the real world. There does not seem to be any reason why these methodologies could not be applied widely within the science and technology policy field. While this would clearly require a good amount of work, both compiling the data and periodically updating it, the potential benefits for successful agenda setting and alternative generation processes would be worth the effort.

National Commission on Space

In 1981, after the initial flight of the Space Shuttle, NASA began to formulate plans for its next large human spaceflight program. During the next two years, the space agency laid the foundation for a presidential decision in support of a space

station. NASA Administrator James Beggs regularly justified the station as the “next logical step” for the civilian space program. When policy makers outside the space agency inquired what an orbiting laboratory was a step toward, NASA officials answered that there were a great many missions that a space station could support. NASA, however, resisted pressure from President Reagans Science Advisor, George Keyworth, to link the station with an eventual human mission to Mars. Beggs, remembering the negative outcome of the STG s endorsement of an expedition to the red planet, decided that the timing was not right to associate the space station with such an undertaking.[67]

In 1984, Congress adopted legislation requiring President Reagan to appoint a National Commission on Space to develop a long-term agenda for the American space program. In March of the following year, Reagan chose Thomas Paine to lead a commission that included Neil Armstrong, Chuck Yeager, and UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick. The selection of Paine, who had spent the past 15 years arguing in favor of an aggressive space program, almost ensured a report that supported an expansive future for NASA. The 15-member commission, which held public hear­ings to solicit ideas, worked for over a year to prepare its report—which was com­pleted a few days after the 28 January 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger accident. This unfortunate coincidence limited any potential short-term impact the report might have had. In May 1986, Bantam Books published it in a glossy volume entitled Pioneering the Space Frontier,[68] Subtitled “An exciting vision of our next fifty years in space,” the report of the National Commission on Space was dedicated to the seven astronauts that had died in the tragic Challenger disaster.[69] That catastrophe had focused much attention on NASA’s shortcomings at the same time the commis­sion was offering a bold new vision for the future of the space program. Despite a skeptical reaction to the study from Congress, the media, and the public, the report had a significant impact on human spaceflight strategic planning in the years after 1986.[70]

The members of the National Commission on Space stated that the primary goal of the study was to provide a rationale that would set the American space program on a path to “lead the exploration and development of the space frontier, advanc­ing science, technology, and enterprise, and building institutions and systems that make accessible vast new resources and support human settlements beyond Earth orbit, from the highlands of the Moon to the plains of Mars.” To achieve those objectives, the commission put forward specific recommendations that outlined a logical approach for the future of the space agency. These proposals supported three overarching national goals for the civilian space program: earth and space science; human exploration and settlement of the solar system; and the development of space commerce.[71]

The section of the report dealing with exploration, prospecting, and settling the solar system set out a coherent phased approach for human spaceflight in the 21st century. The first phase entailed sending robotic probes to discover and characterize resources that could be used for later voyages to Mars. During the second phase, more sophisticated missions would be sent Marsward to obtain and return samples to Earth. The third phase would involve robotic and human exploration of the red planet. During this final phase, permanent Martian outposts would be established to support ongoing exploration. The overall tenor of these recommendations sug­gested that human extraction of chemical and mineral resources on the red planet would be one of the primary long-term goals of the space program.[72]

To support its bold vision for the future of the space program, the commis­sion recommended the establishment of seven demonstration programs to advance key technologies for expansion into the solar system, including: flight research on aerospace plane propulsion and aerodynamics; advanced rocket vehicles; aero-brak­ing for orbital transfer; long-duration closed-ecosystems (including water, air, and food); electric launch and propulsion systems; nuclear-electric space power; and space tethers and artificial gravity. The report further stated that the most impor­tant action the government could take to open the space frontier was to drastically reduce transportation costs within the inner solar system. The group advocated completing a new space transportation architecture—including an aerospace plane, cargo vehicle, and space transfer vehicle—that could replace the Shuttle fleet by the turn of the century. A next generation aerospace plane would be capable of provid­ing flexible, routine, and economical passenger service into low Earth orbit (LEO). A large cargo vehicle would be capable of delivering payloads into LEO at a cost of $200 per pound. Finally, a space transfer vehicle would be “developed to initiate a ‘Bridge Between Worlds.’”[73]

The National Commission on Space concluded that following its fifty-year stra­tegic plan for the future of the space program would have three tangible benefits, “‘pulling-through’ advances in science and technology of critical importance to the

Nation’s future economic strength and national security.. .providing direct economic returns from new space-based enterprises that capitalize upon broad, low-cost access to space, and…opening new worlds on the space Frontier, with vast resources that can free humanity’s aspirations from the limitations of our small planet of birth.”[74] The commission calculated that to accomplish the goals its report advocated, the annual NASA budget would have to increase threefold—to approximately $20 bil­lion a year. John Noble Wilford wrote in his book Mars Beckons that Pioneering the Space Frontier received a frosty reception because “its far-reaching proposals seemed to bear too much of a resemblance to science fiction to be embraced by political leaders. And the more modest recommendations tended to get lost in the ‘Bridge Between Worlds’ imagery of Buck Rogers spaceships.” During the mid-1980s, the American public was not highly receptive to long-range, costly space endeavors. As a result, both the White House and Congress largely disregarded the report of the National Commission on Space.[75]

Despite the negative reaction to the study, momentum began to build for a presidential decision making exploration of Mars the next objective of the human spaceflight program. One reason for endorsing this goal was the increased mission planning that the Soviets were undertaking to set the stage for an expedition to the red planet early in the 21st century. In the coming year, a dozen major publications advocated setting Mars exploration as the primary future goal of NASA—ranging from the New York Times to The New Republic. Support for Mars exploration was far from unanimous, however, with prominent space policy experts arguing for more limited programs aimed at better space science, earth science, and a permanent return to the Moon. In the face of these conflicting viewpoints, NASA decided to conduct its own study of options for the future of the space program.[76]

Waiting for NASA

By late August, the White House was getting gradually more worried about the progress NASA was making on the 90-Day Study. Mark Albrecht was concerned with the weekly status reports he was receiving from the Technical Study Group (TSG), which was the JSC-led team tasked with carrying out the study. “We didn’t like the reaction we got from NASA,” he remembered. “It had an uh oh’ quality to it. NASA reports seemed to be full of lofty verbiage but few technical outlines or alternatives for what a lunar base and a Mars mission would actually look like.”[197] Throughout this period, Albrecht kept emphasizing that the President wanted to see a lot of technical and budgetary options. Based on the space agency’s responses, however, the council staff was beginning to get the strong feeling that it wasn’t going to get any alternatives. Although Congress wasn’t heavily engaged during this period, there was rising concern because of the increasingly frayed Space Council – NASA relationship. The feeling on Capitol Hill was that this strain was caused largely because NASA was “running their own plan, which wasn’t the same as the White House’s plan.”[198]

As time went on, these stressed relations escalated into an all out war between the TSG and the Space Council. NASA’s Douglas O’Handley had actually made a few friends among the Space Council staff, and they were pleading with him to provide assistance. In the end, however, he was not able to provide any support because Admiral Truly and the TSG controlled all information relating to the 90-Day Study. Things got so bad that every time senior NASA officials returned from a White House meeting, there was another story about “those dumb [expletive] on the Space

Council. I have often thought,” O’Handley stated later, that the conflicting “per­sonalities caused many of the problems. If, instead of fighting with the Space Coun­cil, we had tried to work with them, the outcome might have been different.”[199]

While this external battle was being waged between the Space Council and NASA, there was another internal battle being waged within the agency. There was rising apprehension regarding JSC’s control of strategic planning for the initiative. Although the TSG was to a degree soliciting advice from other field centers, there was a feeling that the JSC leadership didn’t really take outside advice very well. Douglas O’Handley argued later, “I absolutely think a wider net should have been cast within NASA, but JSC deprived the other centers an opportunity to contribute to the initiative.”[200] The aerospace industry also wanted to play a role in the mission development, but weren’t heavily involved. Although there were numerous techni­cal concepts and architectural options floating about, the TSG essentially ignored them. JSC became “Fortress NASA” and outside ideas were not welcome.[201]

Despite ongoing problems between the Space Council and NASA, and misgiv­ings about the initiative on Capitol Hill, the TSG was allowed to continue compil­ing the 90-Day Study. The study group was staffed with about 450 people led on a day-to-day basis by Mark Craig, with an average of 250 people working directly on the study on any given day—although the core team was formed by the members of the AHWG.[202] The study began by decomposing the President’s objectives into top level technology requirements. These requirements were then used to develop an end-to-end architecture, which included the following features:

• Characterize the environment in which humans and machines must function with robotic missions

• Launch personnel and equipment from Earth

• Exploit the unique capabilities of human presence aboard the Space Station Freedom

• Transport crew and cargo from Earth orbit to lunar and Mars orbits and surfaces

• Conduct scientific studies and investigate in-situ resource development

The TSG assumed the agency would utilize the Space Shuttle and Space Station Freedom to implement SEI. This, in essence, meant the group never considered whether leveraging these systems was feasible or desirable given the existing fiscal environment. The inclusion of the two systems was almost a foregone conclusion because JSC wanted to protect the Shuttle and continue Station development—in the near term, this meant the ultimate success of SEI was not necessarily the agency’s top priority. From the agency’s perspective, completion of an orbital station was part of a serial progression that started with the shuttle and would eventually end with a human mission to Mars—an idea that dated back to post-Apollo planning. This viewpoint was directly influenced by Admiral Truly’s decision to base the 90- Day Study’s technical analysis on past NASA studies. Douglas O’Handley argues, “this is where the Space Council and the agency were on a collision course. NASA was documenting the past and the Space Council wanted options and innovative thinking. None of the NASA principals knew how to go about” providing those alternatives.[203]

The 90-Day Study alternative generation process was far from optimal. Because the TSG was so JSC-centric, technical and architectural concepts from other seg­ments of the space policy community were not solicited. Perhaps more importantly, the group considered budgetary constraints last. This should have been the first thing that was evaluated, with all programmatic options tailored to the fiscal reali­ties. Instead, the TSG put together a virtual ‘wish list’ for human exploration with­out taking into account the existing political environment. This eventually became an even greater problem because the group never paid “much attention to lowering the initiative’s costs by using emergent technologies.”[204] There is some indication that part of the reason for this was because NASA had been directed to virtually guarantee the safety of the astronauts. Based upon the Apollo experience and a con­temporary understanding of the life science challenges, the TSG had calculated that one member of a seven-person crew may not return. The Space Council staff told agency planners they wanted ‘seven out and seven back.’[205] This would have required 99-9999% mission reliability. As much as anything done by the space agency, this

White House decision drove costs up enormously.[206]

Introduction

“Why Mars? Because it is humanity’s destiny to strive, to seek, to
find. And because it is America’s destiny to lead. ”

President George Bush, 20 July 19891

Sitting on the steps of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum on 20 July 2004, it was difficult to imagine that fifteen years earlier at this place the fiercest domestic political conflict of the first space age commenced. Bright-eyed children poured off tour buses and hurried to examine the museum’s wonders, teachers and parents close behind with digital cameras ready. They lined up to touch a four billion year-old lunar rock, clamored around the Apollo 11 Com­mand Module Columbia, and gazed up at an ungainly Lunar Module— monuments to past American triumphs in space. It was on a similarly hot and muggy Washing­ton morning that President George Bush had used this location to announce a renewed commitment to human exploration beyond Earth orbit. Even before this declaration, however, the winds of war had been swirling in the nation’s capital.

On the 20th anniversary of the first human landing on the Moon, President Bush had stood atop these very steps and proposed a long-range exploration plan that included the successful construction of an orbital space station, a permanent return to the Moon, and a human mission to Mars—this enterprise became known as the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). The president charged the newly rees­tablished National Space Council with providing concrete alternatives for meeting these objectives. To provide overall focus for the new initiative, Bush later set a 30- year goal for a crewed landing on Mars. If met, humans would be walking on the red [1] planet by 2019, which would be the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar land­ing. Within a few short years after President Bush’s Kennedyesque announcement, however, the initiative had faded into history—the victim of a flawed policy process and a political war fought on several different fronts. The failure of SEI, combined with problems ranging from the Hubble Space Telescope’s flawed mirror to space shuttle fuel leaks to space station budget problems, badly damaged the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) image and prompted dramatic changes in the American space program.

The rise of SEI and its eventual demise represents one of the landmark episodes in the history of the American space program—ranking with the creation of NASA, the decision to go to the Moon, the post-Apollo planning process, and the space station decision. The story of this failed initiative is one shaped by key protagonists and critical battles. It is a tale of organizational, cultural, and personal confron­tation. Organizational skirmishes involved the Space Council versus NASA, the White House versus congressional appropriators, and the Johnson Space Center versus the rest of the space agency—all seeking control of the national space policy process. Cultural struggles pitted the increasingly conservative engineering ethos of NASA against the “faster, better, cheaper” philosophy of a Space Council looking for innovative solutions to technical problems. Personality clashes matched Vice President Dan Quayle and Space Council Executive Secretary Mark Albrecht against NASA Administrator Dick Truly and Johnson Space Center Director Aaron Cohen. In the final analysis, the demise of SEI was a classic example of a defective deci­sion-making process—one that lacked adequate high-level policy guidance, failed to address critical fiscal constraints, developed inadequate programmatic alternatives, and garnered no congressional support. Some space policy experts have argued that SEI was doomed to fail, due primarily to the immense budgetary pressures facing the nation during the early 1990s.[2] This book will argue, however, that the failure of the initiative was not predetermined; instead, it was the result of a deeply flawed policy process that failed to develop (or even consider) policy options that may have been politically acceptable given the existing political environment.

The Lessons of SEI

“The story of the dreams and the unbuilt spaceships for flights to
Mars should be recorded so that in the future people can examine
past ideas of space travel just as we can examine the unconsummated
ideas of Leonardo da Vinci by reading his notebooks. Years from now
people should be able to decide for themselves whether they want to
go to Mars or if they prefer to stay earthbound. But let us not destroy
the dream, simply because we do not wish to pursue it ourselves. ”

NASA Historian Edward Ezell, 1979

During the agenda setting and alternative generation processes for SEI, key policy entrepreneurs did not adequately heed the lessons of the past—particularly those learned from the unsuccessful attempt to place Mars exploration on the gov­ernment agenda during post-Apollo planning. At that time, the Space Task Group and NASA failed to account for contemporary fiscal and political constraints. This led to the STG endorsement of a Mars exploration approach that required doubling the space agency’s annual budget. This was contrary to President Nixon’s philoso­phy and the budgetary environment, which resulted in the eventual failure of the initiative to reach the government agenda. In 1989, exploration of the Moon and Mars gained vital support from President Bush as his administration sought to pro­vide direction to a directionless agency. The policy process that the Space Council nominally directed, however, failed to provide adequate guidance regarding the con­straints confronting adoption of the initiative. As a result, NASA’s 90-Day Study was significantly at variance with what Congress judged to be in the long-term interest of the nation. Current policy makers are facing similar issues.[356] Future policy makers will surely face them as new policy windows open, providing opportunities to shape the national space program. Understanding the lessons of SEI provides a chance to avoid sharing SEI’s fate.

One of the primary causes of SEI’s failure was a lack of clear policy guidance from the White House. This deficiency began in early spring 1989, when announcing a robust human exploration initiative was first contemplated by the Bush adminis­tration. While Vice President Quayle and Mark Albrecht clearly believed such an undertaking would provide NASA with needed direction, the administration did not have well developed substantive ideas for future programs. Consequently, the Space Council relied heavily on the space agency to provide the details necessary to make an informed decision regarding the technical feasibility of human exploration beyond Earth orbit. The problem, however, was that adequate instructions were not provided regarding the key constraints that should guide the development of a programmatic approach. As a result, the Ad Hoc Working Group assembled a scenario for human exploration, based largely on existing technology, which would have cost an estimated $400 to $500 billion. Regardless of the potential problems represented by this cost profile, the White House decided to go ahead with the announcement of SEI—probably assuming that cheaper alternatives could be found for the initiative.

On 20 July 1989, during his speech announcing SEI, President Bush directed the Space Council to assess technical approaches and budgetary resources required to carry out the initiative. After the address, however, the Council largely abdi­cated this authority to NASA. This took the form of the 90-Day Study. Given the outcome of the initial alternative generation process (e. g., selection of a technical approach that would require more than doubling the agency’s budget), the decision to allow NASA to control the post-announcement alternative generation process was clearly a mistake. The decision not to include other actors within the space policy community ultimately presented serious problems. This outcome could have been avoided if a presidential decision directive with a detailed strategy for imple­menting SEI had been released concurrently with the presidents speech. Instead, this guidance was not provided for nearly eight months. The inability of the Coun­cil staff to draft such a directive, given the short period of time available, presents a compelling explanation for why NASA was allowed to generate the 90-Day Study in virtual isolation with scant direction from the White House.

From the start, the Space Council should have more firmly controlled devel­opment of SEI. Given the administration’s goals, after President Bush announced the initiative the Council should have commenced technical studies conducted by NASA and outside actors (e. g., government contractors, universities, think tanks, and national laboratories) based on detailed written guidance. This type of coor­dinated alternative generation process would have engendered the kind of “clean sheet” thinking the White House desired. Instead, the space agency followed a more expedient path and developed reference approaches based on past studies. Although the Space Council had verbally asked NASA to supply a variety of technical options and cost profiles, the top NASA leadership either misunderstood or ignored those requests. By the time the 90-Day Study was released, it was probably too late to regain control of the initiative. Congress already associated SEI with $500 bil­lion budgetary requirements. Without any other studies initiated to provide real alternatives, the Council could not present a compelling argument that cheaper options existed. By the time the National Research Council and Synthesis Group were brought in to provide this perspective, the damage had already been done. Similarly, the presidential directives released in spring 1990 arrived too late to save the initiative.

Perhaps the most important lesson learned from the failure of SEI was that NASA needs competition for ideas from other space policy community actors. Since the post-Apollo deceleration, NASA has not proven itself capable of present­ing White House policy makers with a robust suite of policy alternatives for large human spaceflight programs. From the earliest stages, the Space Council relied too much on the space agency to develop alternative approaches for SEI. There were a number of warning signs that should have led the council staff to bring other governmental and nongovernmental actors into the process. The most troubling of these was the initial $400 billion price tag introduced by the Ad Hoc Working Group. Given existing political and budgetary constraints, it is beyond explanation why the administration didn’t seek out cheaper options before announcing the ini­tiative. Instead, Vice President Quayle and Mark Albrecht were apparently satisfied with NASA’s conclusion that the initiative was technically feasible. They chose not to focus on the staggering price tag at that point. Regardless, the political infeasi­bility of the required cost profile clearly demonstrated the need to include other actors in the subsequent alternative generation process. Additional warning signs that the alternative generation process had gone awry emerged even before NASA began assembling the 90-Day Study. The most obvious example was the conversa­tion between Mark Albrecht and Aaron Cohen, when it became clear the two actors had fundamentally different definitions of alternatives. Throughout that period, the Space Council staff became increasingly alarmed by the lack of technical details being provided by NASA. Despite these growing concerns, however, the adminis­tration maintained its “wait and see” approach. By the time the 90-Day Study was released, it proved impossible to turn back the clock.

Responsibility for the ultimate demise of SEI should not all land at the White House doorstep. NASA missteps shared equally in its failure. Although it was directed to develop multiple options with different cost profiles, NASA presented only one expensive reference approach. To check the “alternatives” box, the agency simply provided slightly varied mission timelines and potential destinations. Even without clear written guidance from the administration, Admiral Truly and NASA’s senior leadership should have recognized that existing budgetary constraints neces­sitated consideration of alternatives that could be implemented with modest resources. Instead, a plan was developed that never had any hope of gaining con­gressional support. An examination of the 90-Day Study reveals several factors that virtually guaranteed this outcome. First, the TSG selected an aggressive develop­ment sequence that called for emplacement, consolidation, and operations phases. While this may have been a logical strategy for maintaining permanent human presence beyond Earth orbit, it was not politically feasible. Second, making the ulti­mate objective of both Moon and Mars exploration the establishment of permanent outposts dramatically increased the expense of the initiative. Cheaper stand-alone missions should have been included. Third, making the Space Shuttle and Space Station programs central to the system architecture drove costs up dramatically. It also alienated potential supporters on Capitol Hill. Dick Malow said later he would have been “more positive if NASA had taken Space Station off the plate and focused on going to Mars. The budget envelope that would have opened up would have been sufficient to get the initiative going. I never felt space station was critical to going to Mars, never made any sense to me, if anything it may even have been a detractor.”[357] Fourth, innovative in-space propulsion technologies were not given serious consideration. The basic chemical propulsion designs selected could have been supplemented with other options ranging from electric propulsion to solar sails to nuclear propulsion. Finally, additional strategic approaches should have been included. There was no shortage of architectural approaches available. In the end, the TSG’s failure to consider a wide-variety of alternatives crippled SEI and exposed NASA to wide-ranging criticism. Although the Space Council attempted to find other options, the odds were already stacked against the initiative. In the end, the failure of the Space Council to coordinate a competition of ideas from the outset doomed the initiative.

Even before he won the presidency, George Bush acknowledged that any new human spaceflight program would be significantly constrained by the federal budget. During the transition, the NASA Transition Team recommended the establishment of an agency priority-setting mechanism to take into account these concerns regard­ing the budget deficit. On his first day in office, President Bush told Congress his top agenda item was deficit reduction. Throughout its early months in office, the administration made clear that any decision regarding human spaceflight programs beyond Earth orbit would be made taking into account the limited resources avail­able. In April 1989, when Vice President Quayle and Mark Albrecht met with Rich­ard Darman and Bob Grady from OMB, it was agreed that any new initiative could not have a major budgetary impact. This body of evidence reveals that the Bush administration knew it would not gain congressional support for expensive explora­tion projects. It is equally clear, however, that NASA did not understand, or chose to ignore, this political reality. This is the primary reason why written guidance regard­ing the formulation of alternatives with favorable cost profiles was needed.

Drawing on the Apollo paradigm, NASA leaders believed President Bush’s endorsement of a bold human spaceflight initiative was an opportunity to obtain a large funding increase. This was made clear when the AHWG developed a strategic architecture that would have required more than doubling the agency’s budget. This was exactly what the administration did not want, yet Vice President Quayle and the Space Council perplexingly endorsed the review and proceeded with plans to announce SEI. Instead, given its desire to keep the space agency’s budget in check, the administration should have taken one of two actions. First, it could have post­poned the announcement of the initiative on the 20th anniversary of Apollo 11 and sought out less expensive options. Second, it could have announced SEI and imme­diately commenced a competition of ideas to determine what other alternatives were available. Rather than take control of the policy making process, the Space Council abdicated its authority to NASA. Admiral Truly, in turn, believed there was a right way and a wrong way of doing things, and the right way didn’t include considering resource constraints. Preparing plans for SEI based on this fundamental principle proved to be an enormous political miscalculation.

Admiral Truly’s approach to SEI was not without precedent. Something similar happened during post-Apollo planning. During that period, NASA advocated an aggressive human spaceflight program based on Vice President Agnews support for Mars exploration. President Nixon and Congress were not won over. Rather than learn from this disappointment, the agency followed essentially the same course 20 years later. An examination of the record suggests the agency never seriously considered using President Bush’s backing to gain support for modest budgetary increases that could fund a more limited human exploration program, which would not necessarily eliminate Mars missions. Thus, NASA missed a historic opportunity to right itself two decades after the post-Apollo deceleration. Instead, it proposed a highly expensive reference approach that would require doubling the agency budget because there was no inclination to cancel on-going programs. SEPs resultant demise badly damaged the American space program.

The failure to adequately consult Congress was one of the biggest mistakes made by the Bush administration before announcing SEI. Considering both houses were controlled by the opposition party, and given the existing budgetary crisis, this should have been a crucial part of the policy making process. Congress and congres­sional staffers are among the most critical actors in any policy community. Despite this fact, the administration did not involve legislators in SEPs agenda setting pro­cess. Instead, the Space Council and NASA simply ‘informed’ key members and staffers, instead of consulting’ them regarding the initiative’s substance or political feasibility. Furthermore, there was no attempt made to build a coalition of support­ers for human exploration beyond Earth orbit. This explains why SEI never had any true champions on Capitol Hill, even among constituencies usually supportive of the space program. This procedural flaw was compounded when the Space Council and NASA continued to operate without seeking advice from Congress as alterna­tives were being generated. It is not surprising, therefore, that the 90-Day Study was pronounced ‘dead-on-arrival’ when it reached Capitol Hill. Without Congressional buy-in, it was impossible to garner support for SEI after the report was released. The Space Council made continual efforts to prove the program could be implemented with fewer resources. The space summit held in May 1990 was indicative of this struggle, but did not sway any Congressional supporters to come to the fore. By the time the Hubble flaw and Space Shuttle leaks were revealed, it was too late to save SEI. It is unclear whether broad-based support would have been forthcoming even if attempts had been made to build a coalition of congressional supporters, but the failure to make the effort clearly contributed to the ultimate failure of the initiative.

The philosophical disconnect between Admiral Truly and the Space Council was one of the most significant secondary causes of SEI’s demise. After taking office, the Bush White House did not take early steps to find a new NASA Administrator. Although the administration knew James Fletcher was departing, there was no ini­tial rush to find his replacement. Thus, the eventual decision to appoint Truly was made very rapidly. As a result, there was little time to make sure that his vision for the agency’s future matched President Bush and Vice President Quayle’s. Over the course of the subsequent three years, it became increasingly clear Truly’s priorities were at odds with the Space Council’s. In fact, Truly actively fought the Council’s efforts to take control of space policy making within the federal government. In the end, this led to his firing and the hiring of Dan Goldin. SEI’s outcome demonstrates how important it is for the president and NASA administrator to be on the same page when trying to gain approval for a major human spaceflight initiative.

In the absence of a true crisis environment, rapid decision making to meet arbi­trary deadlines has not proven to be terribly successfully within the American space program. The determination to announce SEI on the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing was a perfect example. Although many within the space policy commu­nity recommended that NASA embark on an extended evaluation of future options, a decision to approve SEI was made in less than four months. As a result, President George Bush announced an initiative that had not been thoroughly examined with regard to its fiscal and political feasibility. In retrospect, it is unclear what necessi­tated this rushed process. After the speech, this perceived need for speed carried over to the 90-Day Study. An examination of the historical record does not reveal any clear rationale for conducting the study in three months, except to include fund­ing for SEI in the fiscal year 1991 budget request. Regardless, the result was that the TSG did not have time to adequately evaluate a range of strategic architectures with different cost profiles. The NRC study team that reviewed the report criticized this quick turnaround as the proximate cause for the lack of real alternatives. This outcome virtually eliminated any chance for SEI’s approval.

During the second half of the 20th century, there were a number of seminal moments in American space policy. These included the creation of NASA, President Kennedy’s Moon decision, and the Space Shuttle and Space Station decisions. Due to its influence on the space program’s future course, SEI rightfully belongs on this list. It is an anomaly in some respects because it was a failed initiative. Combined with the Hubble Space Telescope flaw and Space Shuttle fuel leaks, its demise led to significant changes at NASA. Perhaps the most important was the appointment of Dan Goldin, the most change-oriented administrator since James Webb.[358] The most important change he wrought was forcing NASA to face budgetary reality and focus on evolutionary advancement. This arguably wouldn’t have happened absent the extraordinary budgetary requirements of NASA’s SEI reference approach and the eventual downfall of the initiative.

The demise of SEI was a classic example of a defective decision-making process. The decision to conduct the agenda setting process in secret made it difficult to gen­erate support within Congress or the space policy community. The Space Councils inability to provide high-level policy guidance, combined with NASA’s failure to independently consider critical fiscal constraints, derailed the initiative before it really got started. Finally, the failure of the Space Council to initiate a competi­tion of ideas after President Bush’s announcement speech removed any possibility of gaining congressional support after the devastating release of the 90-Day Study. It is far from obvious that the failure of SEI was predetermined given the existing budgetary crisis facing the nation in 1989. What is clear, however, is that its failure was ensured because options that may have been politically feasible were not con­sidered during a deeply flawed policy process. While this had the benefit of forcing some level of change within NASA, it also badly damaged the agency’s reputation as a world-class technical organization. To ensure the success of future efforts to send humans to Mars, current and future policy makers must learn the lessons of SEI. This alone is why its history is so fundamental to understanding what is required to gain support for large human spaceflight initiatives.

[1] Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 20 July 1989, Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing [http://bushlibrary. tamu. edu/papers/] (accessed 18 May 2002).

[2] Dwayne A. Day, “Doomed to Fail: The Birth and Death of the Space Exploration Initiative,” Spaceflight (March 1995), pp. 79-83; John Pike, “But what is the True Rationale for Human Spaceflight?,” Space Policy (August 1994), pp. 217-222.

[3]John W. Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies (New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1995).

[4] Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones, Agendas and Instability in American Polities (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), pp. 3-24.

[5] Wayne Parsons, Public Policy: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis (Brookfield, Vermont: Edward Elgar Publishing, 1995), pp. 193-207.

1:1 Michael Cohen, James March, and Johan Olsen, “A Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice,” Administrative Science Quarterly (March 1972), pp. 1-25; Parsons, Public Policy, pp. 192-193.

[7] John W. Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies (New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1995), pp. 86-89.

[8] Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones, Agendas and Instability in American Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993), pp. 3-24.

5 Ibid., pp. 39-55.

[10] William Sheehan, The Planet Mars: A History of Observation and Discover (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1996), pp. 1-8; John Noble Wilford, Mars Beckons: The Mysteries, the Challenges, the Expectations of Our Next Great Adventure in Space (New York: Vintage Books, 1990), pp. 3-17.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Sheehan, The Planet Mars, pp. 9-15; Wilford, Mars Beckons, pp. 3-17.

[14] Sheehan, The Planet Mars, pp. 16-22; Wilford, Mars Beckons, pp. 3-17.

[15] Sheehan, The Planet Mars, pp. 23-30.

[16] Wilford, Mars Beckons, pp. 23-24.

[17] William Graves Hoyt, Lowell and Mars (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1976), p. 12.

[18] Wilford, Mars Beckons, pp. 24-30.

1!> Ibid.

[20] H. G. Wells, War of the Worlds (1898; reprint, New York: Tor, 1986).

[21] Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Princess of Mars (1917; reprint, New York: Ballantine Books, 1990).

[22] Robert Heinlein, Red Planet (New York: Ballantine Books, 1949).

[23] Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles (New York: Doubleday, 1950).

[24] One of the two most prestigious awards for accomplishments in science fiction—the other is the Nebula Award.

[25] Robert Heinlein, Double Star (New York: Ballantine Books, 1956).

[26] Wilford, Mars Beckons, pp. 53-56.

[27] A myth developed by flight engineers after earlier missions to Mars failed, which lives on today.

[28] Including a magnetometer and a trapped-radiation detector.

[29] Sheehan, The Planet Mars, chapter 11.

[30] About every 26 months, Mars and Earth reach a position in their respective orbits that offers the best trajectory between the two planets. During this time period, the Mariner missions were launched to take advantage of these launch windows.

[31] Wilford, Mars Beckonsy pp. 60-61.

[32] Sheehan, The Planet Mars, chapter 12.

[33] Wilford, Mars Beckons, pp. 86-90.

[34] Some astrobiologists believe that the Viking Lander’s Labeled Release (LR) experiment proved that primitive life does exist on present-day Mars. The LR experiment dropped liquid nutrients onto a sample of Martian soil, then measured the gases that were released by the mixture. If Martian bacteria had consumed the nutrients and had begun to multiply, certain gases would have been released. When the LR experiment was conducted on both Viking Landers, some of the gases emitted seemed to suggest that microbes were ingesting the released nutrients. But, overall, the results were ambiguous. Many in the scientific community believe that the LR results can be explained non-biologically. One such explanation is that the LR experiment showed the surface of Mars to contain oxides. When the nutrients mixed with the oxides, a chemical reaction, not a biological one, occurred. Moreover, these oxides would actually prevent life from forming on the Martian surface. This remains an open debate within the scientific community, although the prevailing belief is that the Viking LR readings did not provide evidence of life on Mars. [Staff Writer, “The Viking Files,” Astrobiology Magazine (29 May 2003)]

and the American Imagination (Washington, DC: Smithsonian

[36] German engineer who played a prominent role in all aspects of rocketry and space exploration, first in Germany (he led the V-2 rocket program) and, after World War II, in the United States. After working for the U. S. Army, von Braun became Director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle. He began developing ideas for Mars exploration as early as 1947, while working at White Sands.

[37] Wernher von Braun, The Mars Project (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1962); Erik Bergaust, Wernher von Braun (Washington, DC: National Space Institute, 1976), pp. 153-159; David S. Portree, Humans to Mars: Fifty Years of Mission Planning, 1950-2000 (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 2001), pp. 1-4.

[38] John Kingdon defines “softening up” as a process to pave the way in preparation for opening a policy window. In this process, the policy entrepreneur must ask who must be softened up: the general public, some specialized public, or the policy community itself. Among the means of softening up or educating is conducting and releasing studies or reports relating to the policy, which was the method chosen by von Braun (and others) during the 1950s. [John W. Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies (New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1995), pp. 127-131.]

[39] Portree, Humans to Mars, pp. 1-4; Bergaust, Wernher von Braun, pp. 53-59; Wernher von Braun with Cornelius Ryan, “Can We Get to Mars?” Colliers, 30 April 1954, in Exploring the Unknown: Organizing for Exploration, ed. Logsdon, et al. (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 1995, NASA SP-4407, Volume 1), pp. 195-200; Willy Ley and Wernher von Braun, The Exploration of Mars (New York: Viking Press, 1956).

[40] Mike Wright, “The Disney-Von Braun Collaboration and Its Influence on Space Exploration” in Selected Papers fi-om the 1993 Southern Humanities Conference, ed. Daniel Schenker, Craig Hanks, and Susan Kray (Huntsville, AL: Southern Humanities Press, 1993).

[41] McCurdy, Space and the American Imagination, pp. 29-82.

[42] Portree, Humans to Mars, pp. 5-6.

[43] Portree, Humans to Mars, pp. 6-8; David S. F. Portree, “The Road to Mars… Is Paved With Good Inventions,” Air & Space, February/March 2000, pp. 67-71.

[44] Portree, Humans to Mars, pp. 11-22; Portree, The Road to Mars, pp. 67-71.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Ibid.

[47] Charles Townes, et al., “Report of the Task Force on Space,” 8 January 1969, in Exploring the Unknown: Organizing for Exploration, ed. Logsdon, et al. (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 1995, NASA SP-4407, Volume 1), pp. 499-512.

[48] In fact, Agnew had little influence within the Nixon White House; his strong support for an ambitious post-Apollo program was potentially a liability for NASA, not an asset.

[49] Joan Hoff, “The Presidency, Congress, and the Deceleration of the US Space Program in the 1970s,” in Spaceflight and the Myth of Presidential Leadership, ed. Roger D. Launius and Howard McCurdy (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997), pp. 92-132.

[50] Richard Nixon, “Memorandum for the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, the Acting Administrator, NASA, and the Science Advisor,” 13 February 1969, in Exploring the Unknown: Organizing for Exploration, ed. Logsdon, et al. (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 1995, NASA SP-4407, Volume 1), pp. 512-513.

[51] NASA History Division, Compilation of Historical Polling Data, Excel spreadsheet provided to author.

[52] Hoff, “The Presidency, Congress, and the Deceleration of the US Space Program in the 1970s,” pp. 92-132.

15 John M. Logsdon, “The Policy Process and Large-Scale Space Efforts,” Space Humanization Series (1979): pp. 65-79.

[54] Ibid.

[55] John M. Logsdon, “The Evolution of US Space Policy and Plans,” in Exploring the Unknown: Organizing for Exploration, ed. Logsdon, et al. (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 1995, NASA SP-4407, Volume 1), pp. 383-386.

[56] Space Task Group, “The Post-Apollo Space Program: Directions for the Future,” September 1969, in Exploring the Unknown: Organizing for Exploration, ed. Logsdon et al (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 1995, NASA SP-4407, Volume 1), pp. 522-525.

[57] Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard Nixon, 1970 (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1971), pp. 250-253.

[58] Hoff, “The Presidency, Congress, and the Deceleration of the US Space Program in the 1970s,” pp. 93-95.

[59] Logsdon, “The Policy Process and Large-Scale Space Efforts,” pp. 74-75.

[60] The process of modifying a planet, moon, or other body to a more habitable atmosphere, temperature or ecology.

[61] Alcestis R. Oberg, “The Grass Roots of the Mars Conference,” in The Case for Mars, ed. Penelope Boston (San Diego, CA: American Astro nautical Society, 1984), pp. ix-xii; Robert Zubrin and Richard Wagner, The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must (New York: The Free Press, 1996), pp. 70-74; Amy Reeves, “Space Oddities: Local Members of the Mars Underground Have Come Up for Air,” The Sun, 25 August 1999.

[62] Ibid.

23 Ibid.

80 Penelope J. Boston, et al., “Conference Summary,” in The Case for Man, ed. Penelope Boston (San Diego, CA: American Astronautical Society, 1984), pp. xiii-xxi.

[65] Ibid.

Ibid.

[67] John M. Logsdon, “The Evolution of US Space Policy and Plans,” p. 392.

[68] Ibid.

[69] Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAulliffe.

[70] National Commission on Space, Pioneering the Space Frontier: An Exciting Vision of Our Next Fifty Years in Space (New York: Bantam Books, 1986).

[71] Ibid.

[72] Ibid.

33 Ibid.

[74] Ibid.

[75] John Noble Wilford, Mars Beckons: The Mysteries, the Challenges, the Expectations of Our Next Great Adventure in Space (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991), pp. 145-150.

[76] Ibid.

[77] Sally Ride, Leadership and Americas Future in Space: A Report to the Administrator, (Washington, DC: NASA, 1987).

[78] Ibid.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Howard E. McCurdy, The Decision to Send Humans Back to the Moon and on to Mars (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, March 1992); Lyn Ragsdale, “Politics Not Science: The US Space Program in the Reagan and Bush Years,” in Spaceflight and the Myth of Presidential Leadership, ed. Roger D. Launius and Howard E. McCurdy (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997), p. 161.

[81] Office of Exploration, Beyond Earth’s Boundaries: Питан Exploration of the Solar System in the 21st Century (Washington, DC: NASA, 1988); John Aaron, “NASA Press Conference Prepared Statement,” 19 December 1988.

[82] National Security Council, “National Security Decision Directive Number 42: National Space Policy,” 4 July 1982.

45 National Security Council, “Presidential Directive on National Space Policy,” 11 February 1988.

[84] Howard McCurdy interview via electronic-mail, 16 April 1999; John Logsdon interview via electronic-mail, 18 April 1999; Marcia Smith interview via electronic-mail, 19 April 1999.

[85] James Michener, testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, U. S. Civilian Space Policy: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space, 96th Cong., 1st session, 1979.

[86] John Robert Greene, The Presidency of George Bush (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press,

2000), pp. 11-26.

11bid.

[88] Ibid.

[89] George Bush, “Remarks for the Space Shuttle Challenger Dedication,” 21 March 1987, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[90] Although Vice President Bush had no formal role in space policy making, he had been involved in this issue area in the months after the Challenger accident. One can also conjecture that the briefing

was intended to gain support for NASA programs from the likely Republican nominee in the following year’s presidential election.

[91] James Fletcher, “Briefing for the Vice President of the United States,” 10 August 1987, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[92] Ibid.

5 George Bush, “Excerpts of Remarks at George C. Marshall Space Flight Center,” 29 October 1987, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[94] George Bush, “Excerpts of Remarks at Redding, California,” 3 October 1988, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[95] James P. Pfiffner, “The Bush Transition: Symbols and Substance,” in Presidential Transitions: The Reagan to Bush Experience, ed. Kenneth W. Thompson (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1993), pp. 62-72.

[96] Robert M. White and Frank Press to George Bush, December 1988, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, Toward a New Era in Space: Realigning Policies to New Realities (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1988).

[97] Ibid.; NASA Transition Office Contact Team, “Briefing Report to the NASA Administrator – Designate,” 20 January 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[98] NASA Transition Office Contact Team, “Briefing Report to the NASA Administrator-Designate,” 20 January 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[99] In 1988, Congress included language in NASA budget authorization that required the President to establish a National Space Council. The President was required to submit by 1 March 1989 a report that outlined the composition and functions of the Council, which was to employ not more then seven persons (including an executive secretary appointed by the President).

[100] NASA Transition Office Contact Team, “Briefing Report to the NASA Administrator-Designate,” 20 January 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[101] Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 9 February 1989, Address on Administration Goals Before a Joint Session of Congress, http://bushlibrary. tamu. edu/papers/ (accessed 18 May 2002.)

[102] Senator Jake Garn to President George Bush, 16 February 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

15 Former Texas Sen. John Tower was tapped by President Bush to become defense secretary, but the nomination quickly ran into trouble as opponents questioned Tower’s business dealings with defense contractors. The confirmation hearings also brought Tower’s personal life squarely into the public eye, with some critics alleging he drank excessively. At one point, Tower pledged to quit drinking entirely if confirmed, but his appointment was rejected 53-47 by the Senate in March 1993.

[104] Bryan Burrough, Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 1998), p. 239.

[105] Sharen Shaw Johnson, “Capital Line,” USA Today, sec. 6A,3 March 1989.

[106] Stephan Kohashi interview via electronic mail, Washington, DC, 16 November 2004.

’ Kathy Sawyer, “Concern Rises Over Space Council’s Direction,” The Washington Post (9 March 1989): A23.

[108] Eliot Marshall, “An Arbitrator for Space Policy,” Science (10 March 1989): p. 1283.

[109] Press Release, White House Office of the Press Secretary, 1 March 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Dwayne A. Day, “Doomed to Fail: The Birth and Death of the Space Exploration Initiative,” Spaceflight (March 1995): pp. 79-83; “National Space Council Director Named, Report Sent to Congress,” Aerospace Daily (3 March 1989); Sawyer, “Concern Rises Over Space Council’s Direction,” A23; Dan Quayle, Standing Firm: A Vice-Presidential Memoir (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1994), p. 179.

[110] Letter, James C. Fletcher to President George Bush, 9 March 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Memorandum, Joseph Hagin to Brent Scowcroft, 3 April 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[111] Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 16 March 1989, Remarks at a Luncheon Hosted by the Forum Club in Houston, Texas, http://bushlibrary. tamu. edu/papers/ (accessed 19 August 2003.)

[112] Eight days later this theme was confirmed when the White House hosted the crew of STS-28,

which had successfully landed the shuttle Discovery the previous week at Edwards Air Force Base in California—the primary task of the mission had been the deployment of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-4 (TDRS-4). In congratulating the crew, President Bush stated that “the story of Discovery is as… timeless as our history… it says that to Americans—nothing lies beyond our reach.” In his brief remarks, the President reaffirmed his commitment to the shuttle program, space science, and construction of the Space Station Freedom. He did not, however, mention human exploration beyond Earth orbit as one of the goals of his administration. [Press Release, White House Office of the Press Secretary, 24 March 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.]

25 John H. McElroy and Brent Scowcroft, A More Effective Civil Space Program (Washington, DC: The Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1989).

[114] Mark Albrecht interview, tape recording, Arlington, VA, 3 July 2003; “Quayle Puts Damper on Manned Mars/Moon Mission Prospects,” Defense Daily, 5 April 1989, pp. 22-3; Quayle, Standing Firm, pp. 177-190.AQ4

[115] Quayle, Standing Firm, pp. 177-190; Albrecht interview.

[116] Ibid.; Frank J. Murray, “Putting Man on Mars May be Bush’s Goal”, Washington Times, 20 July 1989, sec. A1; Howard McCurdy, The Decision to Send Humans Back to the Moon and on to Man (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 1992), pp. 4-13; Quayle, Standing Firm, p. 181.

[117] Quayle, Standing Firm, p. 181.

[118] Albrecht interview.

[119] Press Release, White House Office of the Press Secretary, 12 April 1989, Bush Presidential Records, Bush Presidential Library; Quayle, Standing Firm, p. 181; Albrecht interview; Kathy Sawyer, “Bush Taps Truly to Head NASA: Former Astronaut Popular on Hill,” The Washington Post (13 April 1989).

[120] Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 20 January 1989, Remarks Announcing the Nomination of Richard Hatrison Truly To Be Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, http://bushlibrary. tamu. edu/papers/ (accessed 18 May 2002.)

[121] Richard Malow interview via tape recording, Washington, DC, 25 October 2004.

[122] Kohashi interview.

[123] Kathy Sawyer, “Bush Taps Truly to Head NASA: Former Astronaut Popular on Hill,” The Washington Post, 13 April 1989; Warren E. Leary, “Bush Chooses Former Astronaut to Head NASA, in a First,” The New York Times, 13 April 1989.

[124] On 23 June, the U. S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Admiral Truly. Along with the confirmation vote, the Senate passed S. 1180, legislation that would allow him to retain his status, rank, and grade as a retired military officer and guaranteeing his retirement benefits from his Navy service after he retired from civilian life. The bill also provided that Admiral Truly, as the NASA Administrator, shall be “subject to no supervision, control, restriction, or prohibition (military or otherwise) other than would be operative… ” if he were not a retired Navy officer. Six days later, OMB Director Darman sent a memorandum to President Bush recommending that the latter authorize the appointment of Admiral Truly and sign S. 1180—the next day James Cicconi of the Office of Personnel approved that recommendation and sent the bill to President Bush for his signature, which was affixed in the normal course of business before the deadline of 10 July 1989. [Memorandum, Richard Darman to President Bush, 29 June 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.]

[125] On 15 March, the Office of the Vice President had submitted to OMB Director Richard Darman a proposed Executive Order for establishing the National Space Council. The draft executive order stated that the goal of the space council was to "provide a coordinated process for developing a national

space program and for overseeing the implementation of national space policy and related activities______ ”

The Vice President, who would act as the primary space policy advisor to the President, would chair the council. The remaining members of the body would be the: Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Transportation, OMB Director, White House Chief of Staff, National Security Advisor, Director of Central Intelligence, and the NASA Administrator. Upon the request of the Vice President, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Presidential Science Advisor, and heads of other executive departments and agencies could also be called upon to participate in meetings. The executive order also provided for the creation of the Vice Presidents Space Policy Advisory Board. This committee would be composed of private citizens appointed to advise the Vice President on national space policy issues. Vice Presidential Counselor Diane Weinstein wrote Darman that “given the urgent need for the Council to begin exercising its critical responsibilities as soon as possible…[the] Vice President recommends that the President sign the enclosed proposed Executive Order establishing the National Space Council.” A week later, Darman received a memorandum from Bonnie Newman, Assistant to the President for Management and Administration, concurring with the OMB Directors recommendation to provide funding to the National Space Council under the auspices of Public Law 100-440, which provided budget resources to the Executive Office of the President for “Unanticipated Needs.” Darman forwarded the memorandum to President Bush recommending an allocation of $181,000, which would allow the Space Council to begin operations in fiscal year 1989. [Letter with an attached draft Executive Order, Diane Weinstein to Richard Darman, 15 March 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Memorandum, J. Bonnie Newman to Richard G. Darman, 22 March 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Memorandum, Richard G. Darman to President George Bush, 23 March 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.]

[126] Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 21 April 1989, Remarks on Signing the Executive Order Establishing the National Space Council, http://bushlibrary. tamu. edu/papers/ (accessed 18 May 2002).

4:1 The actual executive order had been amended somewhat since its original submittal to OMB the previous month. There were two additions made to the full membership of the council—the Secretary

of the Treasury and the President’s Science Advisor. The functions of the council were also fine tuned, and were listed in the final order as follows:

A. The Council shall advise and assist the President on national space policy and strategy…

B. The Council is directed to:

[128] Review United States Government space policy, including long-range goals, and develop a strategy for national space activities;

2. Develop recommendations for the President on space policy and space-related issues;

3. Monitor and coordinate implementation of the objectives of the Presidents national space policy by executive departments and agencies; and

4. Foster close coordination, cooperation, and technology and information exchange among the civil, national security, and commercial space sectors…

C. The creation and operation of the Council shall not interfere with existing lines of authority and responsibilities in the departments and agencies.

The rest of the document was substantively the same as the draft order—including provisions detailing: the responsibilities of the chairman, the national space policy planning process, the establishment of the Vice Presidents Space Policy Advisory Board, and the requirement to “submit an annual report setting forth its assessment of and recommendations for the space policy and strategy of the United States Government.” [Executive Order Establishing the National Space Council, 21 April 1989, Bush Presidential Records, Bush Presidential Library.]

44 One could argue that Admiral Truly was not actually a committed policy entrepreneur for human spaceflight beyond Earth orbit, and that in fact he worked against the program. Regardless, he became one of the key players in the SEI process and was heavily involved in assembling the administration plan and trying to sell it on Capitol Hill. It seems that this qualifies him as a policy entrepreneur for the purposes of this manuscript.

[129] McCurdy, The Decision to Send Humans Back to the Moon and on to Mars, pp. 12-13; Albrecht interview; Frank Martin interview by Howard E. McCurdy, in The Decision to Send Humans Back to the Moon and on to Mars (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 1992).

[130] Ibid.

[131] Douglas O’Handley interview via electronic mail, Morgan Hill, CA, 22 November 2004.

[132] Aaron Cohen interview via electronic mail, College Station, Texas, 9 December 2004.

45 Martin interview.

[134] Ibid.

[135] Frank Martin interview by Howard E. McCurdy, in The Decision to Send Humans Back to the Moon and on to Mars (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 1992); Mark Craig, interview by Howard E. McCurdy, in The Decision to Send Humans Back to the Moon and on to Mars (Washington, DC: NASA History Division, 1992).

[136] O’Handley interview.

[137] Ibid.; Mark Craig, “A Scenario For Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars,” presented to Admiral Richard Truly on 13 June 1989.

[138] Shuttle-C was a 1980s proposal to use the Shuttle s infrastructure to create a heavy launch vehicle. This vehicle would have used the Space Shuttle s solid rocket boosters, external tank, and main engines. Instead of a crew-carrying orbiter, however, it would have used an expendable cargo carrier.

[139] Craig, “A Scenario For Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars.”

[140] O’Handley interview.

[141] Ibid.

[142] O’Handley interview.

[143] This budget estimate had been calculated by OMB cost analyst Norine Noonan, in consultation with NASA.

[144] Martin interview; Craig interview.

[145] Martin interview.

[146] O’Handley interview.

Martin interview.

[148] NASA, “Civil Space Exploration Initiative,” presented to Vice President Dan Quayle on 15 June 1989.

[149] Ibid.; Craig interview; Albrecht interview.

[150] Martin interview.

[151] Craig interview.

[152] O’Handley interview.

65 Ibid.

[154] Bob Davis, “Quiet Clout: How a House Staffer Wields Great Power Over Policy Decisions,” The Wall Street Journal (30 June 1989), p. 1.

[155] Ibid.

[156] Malow interview.

[157] Martin interview.

4 Kohashi interview.

[159] Martin interview.

[160] Malow interview.

[161] Ibid.

[162] Martin interview.

[163] Albrecht interview; Karen Hosier, “Bush Unveils Moon, Mars Plans But Withholds Specifics,” The Baltimore Sun, 21 July 1989-

[164] Ibid.

[165] Quayle, Standing Firm, pp. 177-190.

[166] Craig Covault, “Manned Lunar Base, Mars Initiative Raised in Secret White House Review,” Aviation Week & Space Technology (17 July 1989), pp. 24-26; Michael Mecham, “House Panel Proposes $1-Billion Cut for NASA,” Aviation Week & Space Technology (17 July 1989), p. 26.

[167] Public Papers ofthe Presidents of the United States, 20 July 1989, Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, http://bushlibrary. tamu. edu/papers/ (accessed 18 May 2002.)

[168] Press Briefing, Admiral Richard H. Truly, 20 July 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[169] Ibid.

88 Ibid.

[171] Residence Event Task Sheet, Barbecue to Commemorate the 20 th Anniversary of the Landing on the Moon, 7 July 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Menu, Barbecue Lunch: 20th Anniversary of the First Moon Walk, 20 July 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[172] Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 20 July 1989, Remarks at a White House Barbecue on the 20th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landings http://bushlibrary. tamu. edu/papers/ (accessed 6 June 2002.)

[173] Bernard Weinraub, “President Call for Mars Mission and a Moon Base,” The New York Times, 21 July 1989, sec. A1.

[174] Ibid.

[175] David C. Morrison, “To Shoot the Moon, and Mars Beyond,” Government Executive (September 1989), pp. 12-22.

[176] Weinraub, “President Call for Mars Mission and a Moon Base.”

[177] Ibid.; Karen Hosier, “Bush Unveils Moon, Mars Plans But Withholds Specifics,” The Baltimore Sun, 21 July 1989.

[178] Morrison, “To Shoot the Moon, and Mars Beyond.”

[179] Roy Harris Jr., “Firms Rejoice Over Reborn U. S. Space Program,” The Wall Street Journal, 24 July 1989.

[180] O’Handley interview.

[181] Cohen interview.

[182] O’Handley interview.

[183] Morrison, “To Shoot the Moon, and Mars Beyond.”

[184] Albrecht interview; Cohen interview.

[185] Albrecht interview.

[186] Martin interview.

[187] James Fisher and Andrew Lawler, “NASA, Space Council Split Over Moon-Mars Report,” Space News (11 December 1989), p. 10.

[188] Ibid.

[189] Press Release 89-126, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 27 July 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[190] Wendell Mendell interview via electronic-mail, 15 September 2003.

15 Bryan Burrough, Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 1998), p. 240.

[192] Albrecht interview.

[193] Cohen interview.

[194] Mark Craig interview via electronic-mail, 12 September 2003.

[195] Martin interview.

[196] O’Handley interview.

[197] Bryan Burrough, Dragonfly, p. 240.

[198] Malow interview.

[199] O’Handley interview.

[200] Ibid.

23 Ibid.

70 Craig interview, 12 September 2003; Cohen interview, 9 December 2004.

[203] Report of the 90-Day Study on Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 20 November 1989, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Historical Archives, 2-2 to 2-5; NASA Administrator Richard Truly to Vice President Dan Quayle, 5 September 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Craig interview, 12 September 2003; O’Handley interview.

[204] O’Handley interview.

[205] Ibid.

[206] On 2 November, President Bush signed National Space Policy Directive 1—a slight revision of the policy issued by the Reagan Administration 20 months earlier. The expansion of human presence and activity “beyond Earth orbit into the solar system” remained one of the nations primary goals in space. Considering the administrations desire to have SEI provide a long-term direction for the American space program, however, the document didn’t place a great deal of emphasis on the new initiative. Within the section dealing directly with civil space policy, human exploration was relegated to the bottom of a list of stated objectives for NASA—with Earth science, space science, technology development, and space applications at the top of the list. Even when addressing human exploration more specifically, the policy highlighted completion of Space Station Freedom and downplayed human missions beyond Earth orbit. Finally, the directive provided no specific guidance with regard to implementing the Moon-Mars initiative. [National Space Policy Directive 1, National Space Council, 2 November 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Press Release, The White House Office of the Press Secretary, 16 November 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library ]

[207] It was not officially released until 20 November 1989.

[208] Report of the 90-Day Study on Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 20 November 1989, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Historical Archives, cover letter.

[209] Ibid., Preface.

[210] Ibid., section 3, The Human Exploration Initiative.

[211] Report of the 90-Day Study on Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars, section 3, The Human Exploration Initiative.

[212] Report of the 90-Day Study on Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars, section 3, The Human Exploration Initiative.

[213] For cargo flights, an integrated configuration of two excursion vehicles is launched. Upon approach to Mars, the two vehicles separate and enter Mars orbit using aero-brakes. The first cargo flight in the Mars outpost mission sequence delivers the habitat facility to the outpost site.

[214] Report of the 90-Day Study on Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars, section 3, The

Human Exploration Initiative.

[216] The Advanced Launch System (ALS) emerged in the mid-1980s as the rocket that would be used to deploy the space-based elements of the Strategic Defense Initiative program. However, by late 1989, it had become increasingly apparent that the requirements for the ALS program had largely disappeared. The initial phase of SDI would be deployed using existing Titan 4 and Atlas 2 rockets, and the launch requirements for subsequent phases of SDI deployment were too vague to require immediate development of ALS.

[217] Report of the 90-Day Study on Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars, section 3, The Human Exploration Initiative.

[218] Ibid.

[219] Ibid., section 4, Reference Approaches.

[220] Ibid., Cost Summary.

[221] Ibid.

[222] Bryan Burrough, Dragonfly> p. 241.

[223] Albrecht interview.

[224] Warren E. Leary, “Plans for Space Are Realistic, Official Says,” New York Times (17 December 2003).

[225] O’Handley interview.

5:1 Cohen interview.

[227] Ibid.

[228] Ibid.

[229] Talking Points, NASA Moon/Mars Database Report, National Space Council, 14 November 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Albrecht interview.

[230] Ibid.

[231] Albrecht interview.

55 Kathy Sawyer, “Quayle to Give NASA Competition on Ideas for Space Exploration,” The Washington Post (17 November 1989).

[233] Ibid.

[234] O’Handley interview.

[235] Senior Administration Official interview via electronic-mail, 5 November 2003.

James Fisher and Andrew Lawler, “NASA, Space Council Split Over Moon-Mars Report,” Space News (11 December 1989), p. 10.

[237] On 4 December, Vice President Quayle sent a letter to Dr. Frank Press, Chairman of the National Research Council (NRC), officially requesting that his organization conduct a review of the 90-Day Study. Quayle requested that the NRC consider alternative approaches, or a range of options, for human exploration of the solar system. He included a list of questions that he hoped the NRC would address in its review, focusing on whether the 90-Day Study addressed the widest range of technically credible approaches for implementing SEI. The letter concluded by requesting that the NRC complete the review by the end of February 1990. [ Vice President Quayle to Dr. Frank Press, 4 December 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.]

[238] Albrecht interview.

[239] Malow interview.

87 Ibid.

[241] Kohashi interview.

65 Admiral Richard Truly to Richard G. Darman, 27 November 1989, Library of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Chief Financial Officer.

[243] National Aeronautics and Space Administration, “Budget Estimates: Fiscal Year 1991, Volume 1,” Library of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Chief Financial Officer.

[244] Albrecht interview.

[245] Schedule Proposal, Mark Albrecht to CeCe Kramer, 9 November 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Memorandum, Mark Albrecht, 30 November 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Andrew Lawler, “Panel: Rationale Missing for Moon-Mars Proposal,” Space News (11 December 1989); Brad Mitchell to Andy Card, 4 December 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[246] Ibid.

[247] Kathy Sawyer, “En Route to Space Goal, Groups Diverge: Friction Between NASA and Quayle s National Council Erupts in “Mars Wars,”’ The Washington Post (11 December 1989).

[248] James Fisher and Andrew Lawler, “NASA, Space Council Split Over Moon-Mars Report,” Space News (11 December 1989).

[249] Simon P. Worden to the National Space Council, “Strategic Planning for the Space Exploration Initiative: The How, What, and When?” 14 December 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[250] Courtney Stadd to Brad Mitchell, Ed McNally, and Joe Heizer, “Space Exploration Initiative,” 18 December 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[251] Vice President Quayle to Admiral Richard Truly 19 December 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

75 Press Release 89-185, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 21 December 1989, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; William J. Broad, “NASA Losing 30- Year Monopoly In Planning for Moon and Mars,” The New York Times (15 January 1990).

[253] Admiral Truly did not formally reply to the White House direction until 31 January 1990. In a letter to Vice President Quayle, he provided details of a process for soliciting outside strategic approaches for SEI implementation. This process would include the release of a NASA Research Announcement. The space agency would specifically seek inputs from professional societies (including the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics—AIAA) and other federal agencies. The plan also envisioned a national conference that would be jointly sponsored by NASA and AIAA. All of these efforts would be coordinated through a newly created Office of Aeronautics, Exploration, and Technology. [Admiral Richard Truly to Vice President Quayle, 31 January 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.]

[254]A few years later, NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, who would become the second administrator appointed by the Bush administration, made “faster, better, cheaper” the mantra of NASA. The concept emerged earlier, however, as the administration was trying to “infuse that kind of SDI mentality” into the SEI alternative generation process. [Albrecht interview]

[255] Talking Points, Meeting with Republican Members of House Science Committee, National Space Council, 22 January 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[256] White House Office of Management and Budget, “Budget of the United States of American, Fiscal Year 1991,” 29 January 1990, pp. 49-82.

[257] “NASA Budget Press Conference: Statement of Richard H. Truly, NASA Administrator,” NASA News (29 January 1990); John Noble Wilford, “Budget for the Space Agency Sets Broader Course in Exploration,” The New York Times (2 February 1990), p. 19.

[258] Ibid.

[259] Committee on Human Exploration of Space, Human Exploration of Space: A Review of NASA’s 90- Day Study and Alternatives (Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1990); Press Release, National Research Council, 1 March 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[260] Ibid.

[261] Albrecht interview.

88 O’Handley interview.

[263] John Robert Greene, The Presidency of George Bush (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2000), pp. 89-106.

[264] Albrecht interview.

[265] Mark Albrecht to National Space Council, 16 January 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Mark Albrecht to National Space Council, 2 February 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[266] Presidential Decision on the Space Exploration Initiative, National Space Council, 21 February 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Press Release, The White House Office of the Press Secretary, 8 March 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; “Cold Water on Mars, The Economist (10 March 1990), pp. 94-95; “Bush Calls for Two Proposals for Missions to Moon, Mars,” Aviation Week and Space Technology (12 March 1990), pp. 18- 19; Memorandum, Mark Albrecht to Ed Rogers, 13 March 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[267] Albrecht interview.

[268] Malow interview.

[269] “Bush Seen Cooperating with Soviets on Moon-Mars Project,” Dow Jones News Service (18 January 1990).

[270] “International Cooperation in the President’s Space Exploration Initiative,” The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 30 March 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

5 William J. Broad, “Bush Open to Space Voyages with Soviet Union,” The New York Times (3 April 1990), sec. C2; Craig Covault, “White House Approves Soviet Talks on Moon/Mars Exploration Initiative,” Aviation Week & Space Technology (9 April 1990), p. 24; James R. Asker, “NRCWarns U. S. Against Joint Missions to Mars With Soviets,” Aviation Week & Space Technology (23 April 1990).

[272] House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations, “Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations for 1991,” in Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives, One Htmdred First Congress, Second Session: Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and Independent Agencies—Part IV: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1990), pp. 50-57; pp. 136-143.

[273] Andrew Lawler, “Space Summit Set for May: Bush, Quayle Invite Members of Congress to Talk Space,” Space News (23 April 1990), p. 1.

[274] Mark Albrecht to Fred Mcclure, 16 April 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Jim Cicconi to President Bush, 30 April 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[275] In 1986, Senator Matsunaga wrote The Mars Project, Journey Beyond the Cold War, an unabashed call for a wide-variety of joint space missions with the Soviet Union and other nations. Matsunaga was one of the U. S. Senate’s most outspoken proponents of outer space development.

[276] The congressional participants included: Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS), Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), Senator Mark Hatfield (R-OR), Senator John Danforth (R-MO), Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Senator Jake Garn (R-UT), Senator Howell Heflin (D-AL), House Speaker Thomas Foley (D-WA), House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO), House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Representative Silvio Conte (R-MA), Representative Robert Traxler (D-MI), Representative Bill Green (R-NY), Representative Robert Roe (D-NJ), and Representative Robert Walker (R-PA).

[277] The White House participants included: Chief of Staff John Sununu, National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Cicconi, Communications Director David Demarest, Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater, NSC Executive Secretary Mark Albrecht, and Chief of Staff to the Vice President Bill Kristol.

[278] Talking Points for the President, Congressional Leadership Meeting on Space, 27 April 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[279] Ibid.; Albrecht interview.

[280] Senior Congressional Aide interview via electronic mail, Washington, DC, 15 December 2004.

[281] Albrecht interview.

[282] Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 11 May 1990, Remarks at the Texas Acrl University Commencement Ceremony in Kingsville, Texas, http://bushlibrary. tamu. edu/papers/ (accessed 2 January 2003).

[283] Janet Cawley, “Bush Goal: Man on Mars by 2020,” The Chicago Tribune (12 May 1990); James Gerstenzang, “Bush Sets 2019 for Mars Landing,” The Philadelphia Inquirer (12 May 1990).

[284] John Noble Wilford, “Bush Sets Target For Mars Landing: He Seeks to Send Astronauts to Planet by Year 2020,” The New York Times (12 May 1990).

[285] Kathy Sawyer, “Bush Urges Mars Landing By 2019: Democrats Point to Money Problems,” The Washington Post (12 May 1990).

[286] Malow interview.

[287] O’Handley interview.

[288] Editorial Board, “Empty Rhetoric Fuels Mars Talk,” The Statesman Journal (16 May 1990).

[289] Нешу Gay, “Reaching For Stars, Er, Mars,” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (24 May 1990), sec. A15.

[290] Maria S. Barth to President George Bush, 24 May 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[291] Mark Albrecht to Vice President Dan Quayle, “Meeting with Lt. General Tom Stafford,” 31 May 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Fact Sheet, “Space

Exploration Initiative Outreach Program,” National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 31 May 1990, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Historical Archives; “Chronology of the President’s Space Exploration Initiative,” National Space Council, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[292] J – Sebastian Sinisi, “Forum Delegates Confident,” Denver Post (11 June 1990), sec.4B.

[293] James Gerstenzang, “Bush Denounces NASA Fund Cuts,” The Los Angeles Times (21 June 1990),

p. 28.

[294] Briefing, “White House Briefings on the Space Exploration Initiative,” 8 May 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Charles Bacarisse and Sihan Siv to Fred McClure, “Briefing for Key Congressional Staff on NASA’s Space Exploration Initiative,” 10 May 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Charles Bacarisse to Bob Grady, “Briefings for Key Constituent Groups on the Space Exploration Initiative,” 5 June 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Charles Bacarisse and Sichan Siv to Cece Kramer, 23 May 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[295] “Tour of Hubble Space Telescope Orbital Verification Engineering Control Center,” Ede Holiday, 20 June 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[296] Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 20 June 1990, The President’s News Conference in Huntsville, Alabama, http://bushlibrary. tamu. edu/papers/ (accessed 2 January 2003).

– Mark Albrecht to Jim Cicconi, “Background Materials, June 20 Marshall Space Flight Center Event,” 19 June 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

>b Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 20 June 1990, Remarks to Employees of the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, http://bushlibrary. tamu. edu /papers/ (accessed 2 January 2003).

[299] Earlier in the week, Roll Call had dedicated an entire issue to the space program, with opposing views expressed on SEI from Senator Jake Garn (pro) and Senator AI Gore (con).

[300] A radio actuality is a group of sound bites sent out to radio stations to be used in news reports.

35 “Moon/Mars Initiative,” 19 June 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[302] O’Handley interview.

[303] Warren E. Leary, “Hubble Telescope Loses Large Part of Optical Ability: Most Complex

Instrument in Space is Crippled by Flaw in a Mirror,” The New York Times (27 June 1990), sec. Al; Bob Davis, “NASA Finds Hubble Mirror is Defective,” The Wall Street Journal (28 June 1990).

[304] Joyce Price, “Chief Calls NASA Funding ‘Crucial for U. S. Survival,” The Washington Times (3 July 1990).

[305] John Burgess, “Can U. S. Get Things Right Anymore? Hubble Telescope, Space Shuttle Problems Raise Questions About American Technology,” The Washington Post (3 July 1990).

[306] Malow interview.

[307] U. S. House of Representatives, 101st Congress, 2d sess., “Report 101-556: Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill, 1991,” 26 June 1990; U. S. House of Representatives, 101st Congress, 2d sess., “H. R. 5158,” 26 June 1990.

[308] Dan Morgan, “Panel Boosts NASA Funds 17 Percent: Moon-Mars Mission Cut $300 Million, Higher-Priority Items Backed,” The Washington Post (27 June 1990), sec. AA.

[309] James W. Brosnan, “Senate Panel Cuts Funds for Mars Trip From NASA Budget,” The Commercial Appeal (28 June 1990), sec. A12.

[310] Albrecht interview.

[311] Quayle, Standing Firm, p. 184.

[312] Mark Albrecht to Vice President Quayle, “Meeting on Air Force II with Space Experts”, 10 July 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Mark Albrecht to Vice President Quayle, 13 July 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Press Release, The White House, Office of the Vice President, 16 July 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; “White House Considers Inquiry Into NASA: Spokesman Says Panel May Redirect Agency,” The Washington Post (15 July 1990); Press Release, The White House, Office of the Vice President, 25 July 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Mark Albrecht to Arnold Kanter, 25 July 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[313] U. S. Senate, 101st Congress, 2d sess., “Report 101-474: Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill, 1991,” 26 September 1990; David Rogers, “Senate Panel Cuts Most New Funding for NASA Project,” The Wall Street Journal (14 September 1990), sec. A16; Helen Dewar, “Budget Vote Disappoints Space Backers,” The Washington Post (26 September 1990), sec. A10.

[314] U. S. House of Representatives, 101st Congress, 2d sess., “Report 101-900: Making Appropriations for the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and for Sundry Independent Agencies, Commissions, Corporations, and Offices for Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 1991, and for Other Purposes,” 18 October 1990.

[315] Ibid.; ‘High Hopes Plunge Under an Onslaught of Budget Cuts,” The Associated Press (23 December 1990); Malow interview.

[316] Kohashi interview.

[317] U. S. Senate, 101st Congress, 2d sess., “Public Law 101-611,” 16 November 1990.

[318] David S. Broder and Bob Woodward, “When the Vice President is Chairman: Debating Direction of Space Programs,” The Washington Post (9 January 1992), sec. A16.

[319] Report of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the US. Space Program (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1990); Mark Albrecht to Vice President Quayle, 7 December 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[320] See note above.

[321] Talking Points, “Augustine Committee Press Conference,” 10 December 1990, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[322] Quayle, Standing Firm, pp. 185-186.

[323] Albrecht interview.

[324] Malow interview.

[325] Mark Carreau, “Panel Wants to Phase Out Space Shuttle: White House Backs Changes That Will Transform NASA,” The Houston Chronicle (11 December 1990), p. 1.

[326] Robert C. Cowen, “Manned Space Programs Ger Message: Throttle Back,” Christian Science Monitor (19 December 1990), p. 1.

[327] America at the Threshold: America’s Space Exploration Initiative, Report of the Synthesis Group on Americans Space Exploration Initiative,” May 1991; David S. E Portree, Romance to Reality: Moon and Man Plans, available from members. aol. com/dsportreeVHl l. htm (accessed 10 February 2003).

[328] Warren E. Leary, “Panel Says Much Research is Needed Now to Reach Mars by 2014,” The New York Times (12 June 1991), p. 25; Kathy Sawyer, “Build Nuclear-Powered Rocket for Mars Mission, Panel Urges; Experts’ Report Offers NASA ‘New Approaches,’” The Washington Post (12 June 1991), sec. A2; Edwin Chen, “U. S. Mars Visit by 2014, Station on Moon Urged: Presidential Panel Unveils a Controversial Program that Includes Nuclear-Powered Rockets,” The Los Angeles Times (12 June 1991), p. 1; Paul Hoversten, “Panel Proposes Paths to Moon, Mars,” Gannet News Service (11 June 1991).

[329] Bryan Burrough, Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 1998), pp. 239-243.

[330] Ibid.

6? Richard H. Truly to President George Bush, 10 February 1992, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; President George Bush to Richard H. Truly, 12 February 1992, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library; Kathy Sawyer, “Truly Fired as NASA Chief, Apparently at Quayle Behest: Ex-Astronaut Feuded With Space Council,” The Washington Post (13 February 1992), sec. Al; William J. Broad, “NASA Chief Quits in Policy Conflict,” The New York Times (13 February 1992), sec. Al; Craig Covault, “White House to Restructure Space Program: Truly Fired,” Aviation Week & Space Technology (17 February 1992), p. 18.

[332] Burrough, Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir, pp. 243-245; W. Henry Lambright, Transforming Government: Dan Goldin and the Remaking of NASA (Arlington, VA: PriceWaterhouseCoopers Endowment for the Business of Government, 2001), pp. 14-15; Albrecht interview.

[333] Ibid.

[334] Burrough, Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Mir, pp.243-245; Lambright, Transforming Government: Dan Goldin and the Remaking of NASA, pp. 14-15; Kathy Sawyer, “NASA Nominee Praised at Confirmation Hearing: Committee Members Warn Goldin About Likely Budgetary, Political Problems Ahead,” The Washington Post (28 March 1992), sec. A6; Ede Holiday to President George Bush, “Swearing-in Ceremony for NASA Administrator Dan S. Goldin”, 1 April 1992, Bush Presidential Records, George Bush Presidential Library.

[335] Lambright, Transforming Government: Dan Goldin and the Remaking of NASA, p. 17.

[336] Panetta had been trying to cancel the station program for years while serving in the House of Representatives.

[337] Burrough, Dragonfly: NASA and the Crisis Aboard Miry pp. 262-264.

[338] Ibid.

[339] Lambright, Transforming Government: Dan Goldin and the Remaking of NASA, p. 20.

[340] The White House, National Science and Technology Council, “Fact Sheet: National Space Policy,” 19 September 1996; Brian McGrory, “Clinton Curbs Mars Project: Drops Manned Mission, Backs Robotic Probes,” The Boston Globe (20 September 1996), sec. A25; Kathy Sawyer, “White House Releasing New National Space Policy: Robots, Not Astronauts, May Travel to Mars,” The Washington Post (19 September 1996), sec. A29.

[341] Parsons, Public Policy, pp. 193-207.

[342] These interviews were conducted in an attempt to better understand policy making within two issues areas, health care policy and transportation policy.

[343] Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, pp. 231-240.

[344] The New York Times Index was also used to provide supplemental data.

[345] Baumgartner and Jones, Agendas and Instability in American Politics, pp – 253-259-

? Polls are designed to provide interested parties with information estimating how the mass public would respond to specific closed-ended options, such as “should the government fund human trips to Mars?” The fundamental principle of polling is that a sample population can represent the entire population if there is a sufficient sample size and the chosen methodology ensures a randomly selected sample. Opinion polls are utilized to measure: values, basic beliefs held by individuals that are relatively immune to change and perform a vital role in individuals’ lives and choices; opinions, judgments about current issues and policy alternatives; and attitudes, a category between values and opinions representing well thought out views utilized to evaluate new issues and alternatives. While polls measuring values and attitudes are useful because they provide information regarding long-term beliefs, the vast majority of polls relevant to policy makers assess opinions regarding contemporary policy issues. [Mathew Mendelsohn and Jason Brent, “Understanding Polling Methodology,” ISUMA (Autumn 2001): pp. 131-136.]

[347] Baumgartner and Jones found that the new CD-ROM format of the CIS annual permitted for efficient searches of policy issues—primarily because hearings are cross-referenced, reducing the possibility of double counting specific hearings, and streamlined selection of keywords. The dataset that was produced included a wide variety of information including the year of the hearing, the committee holding the hearing, and a summary of the topics discussed.

[348] Bryan Jones, John Wilkerson, and Frank Baumgartner, “Policy Agendas Project,” Center for American Politics and Public Policy, available from depts. washington. edu/ampol/navresearch/ agendasproject. shtml; (accessed 18 December 2001.)

[349] In 1957, the Public Papers series was created to provide an official compilation of Presidential letters, addresses, speeches, proclamations, executive orders, and other publicly issued materials. Volumes dealing with the Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations are incorporated into the series. In addition, the Clinton papers are now available online and there are plans to expand online coverage to include all presidential papers. The information included in the Public Papers is indexed in two ways: by subject and by name. The index entry for each subject contains a word or phrase that identifies the topic and one or more page numbers.

[350] Measured by tabulating the number of space-related addresses and speeches delivered (and catalogued in the Public Papers of the President series) by the president in a given year.

[351] Measured by tabulating the number of space-related Congressional hearings held (and catalogued by the Congressional Information Service) in a given year.

[352] This database also included a few studies conducted by national commissions (e. g. National Commission on Space), academic institutions, and interest groups.

[353] Portree’s goals for the Romance to Reality site were fourfold: to educate interested parties about the challenges and opportunities of exploring the Moon and Mars; to make the ideas of engineers and scientists widely available to the mass public; to provide an exciting glimpse of possible futures by looking into the past; and to foster the construction of a future that includes human activity on both the moon and Mars.

[354] Since this analysis was conducted, Portree has changed the format of the Romance to Reality: Moon and Mars Plans website. Thus, my results are based on data taken from the website as it existed in March 2002.

[355] President Reagan’s 1984 State of the Union, where he announced his decision to approve the Space Station Program, was the clear exception.

[356] On 14 January 2004, President George W. Bush proposed a long-range plan for the American space program that included phasing out the aging Space Shuttle, redefining a partially constructed Space Station, and developing a crew exploration vehicle to return humans permanently to the Moon.

[357] Malow interview.

[358] W. Henry Lambright, Transforming Government: Dan Goldin and the Remaking of NASA (Arlington, VA: Price WaterhouseCoopers, 2001), p. 11.

The Ride Report

In 1986, NASA Administrator James Fletcher asked former astronaut Dr. Sally Ride to chair a task force assigned to respond to the National Commission on Space report and to develop focused alternatives for the agency’s future. In August of the following year, the committee released its report entitled Leadership and America’s Future in Space. In its preface the study suggested that in the aftermath of the Chal­lenger accident there were two conflicting views regarding the proper course for the space program. On one hand, many believed that NASA should adopt a major, visionary goal. On the other hand, many judged that the agency was already over­committed and should not take on another major program. The Ride Committee sided with the first group, although it concluded that the space program should not pursue a single visionary initiative to the exclusion of all others. It contended that championing a solitary project was not good science or good policy making, but argued that the space program did need a strategy to regain and retain leadership in space endeavors.[77]

The Ride Report identified four candidate initiatives for study, each bold enough to restore the United States to a position of leadership in space. Those proposals included:

• Mission to Planet Earth: a program designed to obtain a comprehen­sive scientific understanding of the entire Earth system—particularly emphasizing the impact of environmental changes on humanity

• Exploration of the Solar System: a robotic exploration program designed to continue the quest to understand our planetary system (including a comet rendezvous, a mission to Saturn, and three sample return mis­sions to Mars)

• Outpost on the Moon: a program designed to build upon the Apollo legacy with a new phase of lunar exploration and development, con­cluding with the establishment of a permanent moon base by 2010

• Humans to Mars: a program designed to land a crew of astronauts early in the 21st century and eventually develop a permanent outpost on the red planet

The panel made clear, however, that the report “was not intended to culminate in the selection of one initiative and the elimination of the other three, but rather to provide four concrete examples that would catalyze and focus the discussion of the objectives of the civilian space program and the efforts required to pursue them.”

If the Humans to Mars option was pursued, the report recommended a three – prong exploration strategy. During the 1990s, the first prong would involve com­prehensive robotic exploration, concluding with a pair of Mars Rover/Sample Return missions. The second prong would entail utilizing an orbiting space station to perform an assertive life sciences program intended to examine the physiologi­cal effects of long-duration spaceflight—the ultimate goal being to decide whether

Mars-bound spacecraft would require artificial gravity. During the final prong, the space agency would “design, prepare for, and perform three fast piloted round-trip missions to Mars. These flights would enable the commitment, by 2010, to con­struct an outpost on Mars.” The panel favored one-year human missions to the red planet, with astronauts exploring the planetary surface for 10 to 20 days. The plan called for slow, low-energy cargo vehicles to precede and rendezvous with the piloted spacecraft in Martian orbit. These cargo ships would take everything needed for surface activities, plus the fuel required for the return trip. The Ride Report indicated that the ultimate goal of the initiative was to recapture leadership in space activities.[78]

While human exploration of Mars received equal footing with the other three initiatives proposed by the committee, the report argued that an expedition to the red planet should not be the immediate goal of the space agency. The committee wrote, “…settling Mars should be our eventual goal, but it should not be our next goal. Understanding the requirements and implications of building and sustaining a permanent base on another world is equally important. We should adopt a strat­egy of natural progression which leads step by step, in an orderly, unhurried way, inexorably toward Mars.” This finding seemed to mesh with the general feeling of top NASA officials. In fact, Administrator Fletcher stated at the time his belief that Americans should return to the Moon before heading on to Mars. On the other hand, supporters of human exploration of the red planet argued that developing a lunar base would utilize resources that should be applied toward a journey to Mars. Thus, in the aftermath of the Ride Report it was still unclear what strategy the American space program should adopt as it neared the 21st century—although the report had provided policy makers with four well-conceived future alternatives.[79]

SEI Takes Shape

In early November, the Report of the 90-Day Study on Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars began circulating at the Space Council.[207] The cover letter attached to the report stated the purpose of the study was intended as a data source for the Space Council to refer to as it considered strategic planning issues related to SEI. The document purported not to contain any official recommendations or estimates of total mission cost.[208] The preface made it abundantly clear that the TSG regarded President Bush’s announcement speech as the initiatives guiding policy directive. As a result, the key doctrine that emerged from the report was expressed as follows. “The five reference approaches presented reflect the Presidents strategy: First, Space Station Freedom, and next, back to the Moon, and then a journey to Mars. The des­tination is, therefore, determined, and with that determination the general mission objectives and key program and supporting elements are defined. As a result, regard­less of the implementation approach selected, heavy-lift launch vehicles, space-based transportation systems, surface vehicles, habitats, and support systems for living and working in an extraterrestrial environment are required.” The analytic team did not include any alternative paths, but chose to strictly interpret Bush’s announce­ment speech. This dogmatic approach was carried through the entire report, with a predictable outcome—a set of reference approaches requiring a massive in-orbit infrastructure and large capital investments.[209]

Подпись: Space Station Freedom (Source: 90-Day Study)
SEI Takes Shape

To achieve the objectives set out in President Bush’s announcement speech, the TSG adopted an evolutionary 30-year plan for SEI implementation. As the AHWG had done before it, the group put forth a strategic approach that depended on Space Station Freedom and followed initial human missions to the Moon and Mars with phased development of permanent human outposts on these celestial bodies—start­ing with emplacement, continuing with consolidation, and finishing with opera­tions. Unlike the briefing that had been prepared during the agenda setting pro­cess, the 90-Day Study included a highly detailed description of NASA’s vision for the robotic, lunar, and Martian phases of exploration beyond Earth orbit.[210]

The initiative would begin with precursor robotic missions intended to “obtain data to assist in the design and development of subsequent human exploration mis­sions and systems, demonstrate technology and long communication time operation concepts, and dramatically advance scientific knowledge of the Moon and Mars.” The TSG developed a logical progression of robotic explorers to address specific operational and scientific priorities. First, a Lunar Observer program would launch two identical flight systems on one-year polar mapping missions. Second, a Mars Global Network program would launch two identical flight systems carrying orbit – ers and multiple landers to provide high-resolution surface data at several locations. Third, a Mars Sample Return program would launch two identical flight systems to return five kilograms each of Martian rocks, soil, and atmosphere to Earth—this was the centerpiece of the robotic sequence. Fourth, a Mars Site Reconnaissance Orbiter program would launch two orbiters and two communications satellites to charac­terize landing sites, assess landing hazards, and provide data for subsequent rover navigation. Finally, up to five Mars Rover missions would certify three sites to deter­mine the greatest potential for piloted vehicle landing and outpost establishment.[211]

Lunar Transfer Vehicle would have provided transportation between Space Station Freedom and lunar orbit (Source: 90-Day Study)

SEI Takes ShapeAs robotic exploration of the red planet was ongoing, the TSG strategy called for the development of a permanent lunar outpost. The mission concept for achieving this goal was highly complicated, relying on a vast in-orbit infrastructure, numer­ous spacecraft, and multiple resource transfers. The plan called for “two to three launches of the lunar payload, crew, transportation vehicles, and propellants from Earth to Space Station Freedom. At Freedom, the crew, payloads, and propellants are loaded onto the lunar transfer vehicle that will take them to low lunar orbit. The lunar transfer vehicle meets in lunar orbit with an excursion vehicle, which will either be parked in lunar orbit or will ascend from the lunar surface, and payload, crew, and propellants are transferred. [Then] the excursion vehicle descends to the lunar surface.” A combination of cargo and piloted flights (with four crew mem­bers) would be utilized to construct the lunar outpost. The emplacement phase would begin with two cargo flights to deliver the initial habitation facilities, which included a habitation module (to be covered with lunar regolith to provide radia­tion shielding), airlock, power system, unpressurized manned/robotic rover, and associated support equipment. Emplacement would prepare the way for extended human missions during the consolidation phase, which would include erection of a constructible habitat to provide additional living space and experimentation with in situ resource utilization.[212]

The final step in the TSG strategy was the establishment of a human outpost on Mars. Similar to the lunar program, the Martian sequence would begin with the launch of the crew, surface payload, transportation vehicles, and propellant from Earth to Space Station Freedom. In LEO, the transfer and excursion vehicles would be inspected before setting out on the long journey toward the red planet. “Upon approach to Mars, the transfer and excursion vehicles separate and perform aero – braking maneuvers to enter the Martian atmosphere separately. The vehicles rendez-

Inflatable lunar habitat would have been outpost for up to 12 astronauts (Source: 90-Day Study)

SEI Takes Shapevous in Mars orbit, and the crew of four transfers to the excursion vehicle, which descends to the surface using the same aero-brake. When their tour of duty is com­plete, the crew leaves the surface in the ascent module of the Mars excursion vehicle to rendezvous with the transfer vehicle in Mars orbit. The transfer vehicle leaves Mars orbit and returns the crew to Space Station Freedom.”[213] Standard mission profiles for crewed flights to Mars would follow two different trajectory classes: one for a 500-day roundtrip with surface stays up to 100 days and one for a 1,000-day roundtrip with surface stays of approximately 600 days. After initial emplacement, the consolidation phase would entail assembly of a constructible habitat and utiliza­tion of a pressurized rover for long-range surface exploration.[214]

As envisioned by theTSG, implementation of SEI would require the construc­tion of a new launch vehicle and multiple spacecraft to travel beyond Earth orbit. The study introduced two primary concepts for a heavy launcher, one a Shuttle – derived alternative and the other based on the proposed Advanced Launch System.[215] [216] As indicated above, the in-space transportation system consisted of transfer and excursion vehicles—these systems would utilize chemical propulsion, although the report called for research funding to investigate nuclear propulsion. For Mars exploration, the transfer vehicle would actually carry the excursion vehicle to the red planet utilizing a large trans-Mars injection stage. The transfer vehicle would

Mars Transfer Vehicle would have propelled crew and mars excursion vehicle to Mars orbit (Source: 90-Day Study)

SEI Takes ShapeSEI Takes ShapeMars Excursion Vehicle would have transported four astronauts and 25-tons of cargo to Martian surface (Source: 90 Day Study)

include a crew module that would be a “single, pressurized structure 7.6 meters in diameter and 9 meters in length with…a life support system that recycles water and oxygen. The crew is provided private quarters, exercise equipment, and space suits that are appropriate for the long mission duration.” The excursion vehicle crew module would provide living space during descent, ascent, and for up to 30 days in case of problems with the surface habitat.44

The TSG developed similar planetary surface systems for both Moon and Mar­tian missions. In fact, the main rationale for development of a lunar outpost was as a testing ground for subsystem technologies for later missions to the red planet. The initial habitats for both outposts would be horizontal Space Station Freedom- derived cylinders 4.45 meters in diameter and 8.2 meters long. Laboratory modules would be attached to add expanded living volume. Each of these habitats would have regenerative life support systems capable of recovering 90% of the oxygen from carbon dioxide and potable water from hygiene and waste water. During the consolidation phase, an expanded habitat would be required to accommodate large crews and longer stays by providing more space. This would be a “constructible [11 meter] diameter inflatable structure partially buried in a crater or a prepared hole. This structure is an order of magnitude lighter than multi-module configurations of equivalent volume. Its internal structure includes self-deploying columns that [217]
telescope upward and lock into place when the structure is inflated. When fully assembled and outfitted, the constructible habitat provides three levels, and has the volume required for expansion of habitat and science facilities. Major subsystems of the constructible habitat include the life support and thermal control systems, pressure vessels and internal structure, communications and information manage­ment systems, and interior outfitting.” During this stage, a 100- kilowatt nuclear dynamic power system would begin providing the growing outpost much needed electric power (the plan called for ongoing progression of this capability, leading to a 550-kilowatt system). Initial surface exploration would be conducted using electric powered, unpressurized rovers. These vehicles would only have a range of 50 kilometers with human occupants, although they could be telerobotically oper­ated for missions up to 1,000 kilometers from the outpost. This provided very lim­ited capacity for long-range human exploration, which was nominally the primary reason for making the journey.[218]

The TSG mission plan was designed as the framework for selection of an overall “reference approach.” The 90-Day Study included five different reference approaches, which were intended to provide different options (using only one mis­sion strategy) for achieving President Bush’s goals. The report introduced a set of metrics (cost, schedule, complexity, and program risk) that could be used by policy makers to decide the appropriate timeframe for SEI implementation. The reference approaches simply altered these metrics to provide different milestones for a single strategic plan. Thus, instead of examining numerous technical, operational, or stra­tegic alternatives, the TSG chose to put forward one basic system architecture with slight timeline modifications. The different reference approaches included:

• Reference Approach A: Formulated to establish human presence on the Moon in 2001, using the lunar outpost as a learning center to develop the capabilities to move on to Mars. An initial expedition to Mars would allow a 30-day stay on the surface, with the first 600-day visit in 2018.

• Reference Approach B: A variation of Reference Approach A, which advanced the date of the first human Mars landing to 2011. This would reduce the ability to use the lunar outpost as a learning center for the Mars outpost.

• Reference Approach C: A variation of Reference Approach A, which advanced even further the date of the first Mars mission, but maintained the same expansion schedule for Mars outpost development.

• Reference Approach D: A variation of Reference Approach A, which

slipped all major milestones two to three years.

• Reference Approach E: Formulated to reduce the scale of lunar outpost activity by using only a human-tended mode of operation and limiting the flight rate to the Moon to one mission per year. Three expeditionary missions to Mars (with 90-day surface stays) would precede the 2027 establishment of a permanent outpost with 600-day occupancy.

In essence, this set of reference approaches provided two limited alternatives (Refer­ence Approaches A and E). The only difference between the two was the magnitude of lunar development and the timing of different milestones. There were no alterna­tives provided that suggested that it was not feasible from a budgetary perspective to attempt both a permanent return to the Moon and human exploration of Mars. In addition, as pointed out above, there were no alternatives that were based on sig­nificantly different mission profiles or technical systems. This represented a major shortcoming of the report, which would come back to haunt the space agency in subsequent months and years.[219]

The 90-Day Study included a cost estimate for the TSG’s vision of SEI. It was based on a 30-year planning horizon and employed historical experience to “derive the approximate values for supporting development, systems engineering and inte­gration, program management, recurring operations, new facilities, and civil service staffing levels.” The TSG performed a parametric cost analysis using three regression models developed at different NASA field centers. The Marshall Space Flight Center Cost Model consisted of subsystem level data gathered from past human spaceflight programs, which was employed to estimate space transportation vehicle costs as a function of mass (assigning each reference approach a subjective complexity factor). The Johnson Space Center Advanced Mission Cost Model used a broader dataset drawing on developmental program statistics from NASA and other technology organizations to calculate expected surface system costs. Finally, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Project Cost Model estimated program costs for robotic missions draw­ing on past analogous mission figures.[220]

The study provided funding estimates for reference approaches A and E, apprais­ing expected costs from 1991 to 2025 (in constant fiscal year 1991 dollars). The esti­mates included reserves that accounted for nearly 55% of predicted expenditures, which was intended to allow for programmatic uncertainties. The report included tables that detailed the cost estimates for both reference approaches, separated into key phases:

• Reference Approach A

— Lunar Outpost: $100 billion (FY 1991-2001)

— Lunar Outpost Emplacement &: Operations: $208 billion (FY 2002-2025)

— Mars Outpost: $158 billion (FY 1991-2016)

— Mars Outpost Emplacement & Operations: $75 billion (FY2017-2025)

— Total: $541 billion

• Reference Approach E

— Lunar Outpost: $98 billion (FY 1991-2004)

— Lunar Outpost Emplacement & Operations: $137 billion (FY 2005-2025)

— Mars Outpost: $160 billion (FY 1991-2016)

— Mars Outpost Emplacement & Operations: $76 billion (FY2017-2025)

— Total: $471 billion

The report also included two startling charts, which illustrated the impact of the reference approaches on the overall NASA budget. Starting with a base budget of approximately $ 15 billion, the implementation of both reference approaches would require increasing the annual agency appropriation to $30 billion by FY 2000, where it would stay for another 25 years.[221] In the coming weeks and months, it would become increasingly clear that these budgetary requirements were simply staggering to all outside observers. Admiral Truly and the TSG clearly believed that President Bush was prepared to support a major escalation in annual spending for the space program. This judgment was reached despite the fact that the nation was facing large budget deficits and almost every other sector of the government was expecting significant funding cuts. It proved to be a tremendous miscalculation.

The Policy Stream and Punctuated Equilibrium Models

To make the case that the failure of SEI was not inevitable, this study employs two theoretical models to guide the narrative analysis of how the initiative reached the government agenda and what factors led to its ultimate demise. John Kingdon’s Policy Streams Model describes how problems come to the attention of policy makers, how agendas are set, how policy alternatives are generated, and why policy windows open.[3] This theory will be utilized to develop the story of SEI’s rise and fall, and will more specifically be used to assess who the important actors are within the space policy community. Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones’s Punctuated Equilibrium Model depicts the policy process as comprising long periods of stability, which are interrupted by predictable periods of instability that lead to major policy changes.[4] This model will be utilized to provide a better understanding of the larger trends that led to SEI s promotion to the government agenda and may explain its eventual downfall.[5] These two models contributed a number of descriptive statistics that were used to develop a collection of lessons learned from the SEI experience.

In 1972, Michael Cohen, James March, and Johan Olsen introduced Garbage Can Theory in an article describing what they called “organized anarchies.” The authors emphasized the chaotic character of organizations as loose collections of ideas as opposed to rational, coherent structures. They found that each, organized anarchy was composed of four separate process streams: problems, solutions, partici­pants, and choice opportunities. They concluded that organizations are “a collection of choices looking for problems, issues and feelings looking for decision situations in which they might be aired, solutions looking for issues to which they might be the answer, and decision makers looking for work.” Finally, a choice opportunity was:

…a garbage can into which various kinds of problems and solutions are dumped by participants as they are generated. The mix of garbage in a single can depends on the mix of cans available, on the labels attached to the alternative cans, on what garbage is currently being produced, and on the speed with which garbage is collected and removed from the scene.

Therefore, the three found that policy outcomes are the result of the garbage avail­able and the process chosen to sift through that garbage.[6]

In his classic tome Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies, John Kingdon applies the garbage can model to develop a framework for understanding the policy pro­cess within the federal government. He found that there were three major process streams in federal policy making: problem recognition; the formation and refine­ment of policy proposals; and politics. Kingdon concludes that these three pro­cess streams operate largely independent from one another. Within the first stream, various problems come to capture the attention of people in and around govern­ment. Within the second stream, a policy community of specialists concentrates on generating policy alternatives that may offer a solution to a given problem. Within the third stream, phenomena such as changes in administration, shifts in partisan or ideological distributions in Congress, and focusing events impact the selection of different policy alternatives. Kingdon argues that the key to gaining successful policy outcomes within this “organized anarchy” is to seize upon policy windows that offer an opportunity for pushing one’s proposals onto the policy agenda. Taking advantage of these policy windows requires that a policy entrepreneur expend the political capital necessary to join the three process streams at the appropriate time.[7] Kingdon’s model provided a useful structure for assessing the role of the policy community in placing SEI on the government agenda and formulating alternatives to solve a perceived problem—a lack of strategic direction within the American space program. Furthermore, it provided benchmarks that were used to evaluate the flawed policy making process for the initiative. In particular, it provided an analytic tool for understanding why Vice President Quayle and Mark Albrecht were not able to successfully join the three process streams when a policy window opened for human exploration beyond Earth orbit.

In Agendas and Instability in American Politics, Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones introduce a punctuated equilibrium model of policy change in American politics, based on the emergence and recession of policy issues on the government agenda. This theory suggests that the policy process has long periods of equilibrium, which are periodically disrupted by some instability that results in dramatic policy change. Baumgartner and Jones describe “a political system that displays consider­able stability with regard to the manner in which it processes issues, but the stability is punctuated with periods of volatile change.” Within this system, they contend, the mass public is limited in its ability to process information and remain focused on any one issue. As a result, policy subsystems are created so that scores of agenda items can be processed simultaneously. Only in times of unique crisis and instability do issues rise to the top of the government agenda to be dealt with independently. At a fundamental level, the punctuated equilibrium model seeks to explain why the policy process is largely incremental and conservative, but is also subject to periods of radical change.[8]

Baumgartner and Jones argue that to understand the complexities of the policy making process, one must study specific policy problems over extended periods of time. To comprehend the policy dynamics of an issue, one must develop indicators that explain how the issue is understood. They introduce a new approach to policy research that attempts to meld the policy typology literature and the agenda status literature—the former based on cross-sectional comparisons of multiple public policy issues, the latter focused on longitudinal studies of a single issue over time. The new approach concentrates on the long-term trends related to interest in, and discussion of, important policy questions. In particular, they are interested in two related concepts, whether an issue is on the agenda of a given institution (venue access) and whether the tone of activity within that institution is positive or nega­tive (policy image).[9] The two utilize an eclectic group of measures to gauge venue access and policy image. Baumgartner and Jones’s model provided a useful method for understanding where SEI fits within the history of the American space program. More importantly, it provided a means to evaluate whether long-term space policy trends predetermined the initiative’s failed outcome.