How did this video come about?
On May 7, 2009, the Obama Administration announced the launch of an independent review of planned U.S. human space flight activities. The goal of the review was to ensure that the nation was on a vigorous and sustainable path to achieving its boldest aspirations in space. The committee was tasked with examining ongoing and planned National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) development activities, as well as potential alternatives, and present options for advancing a safe, innovative, affordable, and sustainable human spaceflight program in the years following the Space Shuttle retirement.
Well, those options came out. And there were some really good ones, but then after feeling all warm and fuzzy that something amazing was about to happen, nothing happened. Not a single thing changed…the Space Launch System began, Space Shuttle was shut down, and Continuing Resolution was enacted. And then, we got mad and we weren’t the only ones that got mad…
In 2011, entrepreneur and space policy expert Jeff Greason (biography) presented at the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) on his experiences as a member on the Augustine Committee:
In his video, Greason talked about the uplifting feeling amongst the group of experts, as well as the unspoken goal they all thought the industry had currently; the human settlement of space. On speaking about that goal, Jeff Greason said:
“It became clear to me in the time I had on the Augustine Committee that we DO have a goal, and there is a national consensus among policy makers that we do have that goal, but everyone’s kind of afraid to say it, because they don’t think we can do it.”
The Space Frontier Foundation has always felt that the sustainable settlement of space should be the ultimate goal of our national space program, and we believe that we as a nation can do it. You can see this in our Credo and Frontier Enabling Test. The fact that such a high-level executive committee said the same, gave us the push needed to more broadly spread the idea, and challenge the space industry to make it a reality. Whether personally interested in space or not, we feel that every U.S. taxpayer deserves a national space program that ignites the American spirit and challenges us to do things that some people are afraid are impossible. This is our chance to face the challenge and prove them wrong.
In our new video, you can see the graphical representation of what a sustainable settlement strategy could look like. This is NOT what Space Frontier Foundation thinks that NASA should do, but instead is offered as a proof that there is another way to settle the stars while allowing NASA to achieve all their current goals with the program to-date: keeping the workforce in place, developing new and exciting technologies, advanced robotic exploration, and being the world leader in human spaceflight and exploration.
It is our hope that you enjoy watching our video, but most importantly that it opens your eyes to the possibilities of our future in space. Whether we realize these possibilities or not, it is imperative for everyone to know that we are at least capable today of achieving what some would put off to the future indefinitely.