In the 1950s, a combination of technological and scientific advancement, political competition, and changes in popular opinion about spaceflight generated public policy in favor of an aggressive space program. This and that of 1960s moved forward with a Moon landing and the necessary budgets. Space exploration reached equilibrium in the 1970s, sustained through to the present. The twenty-first-century progresses signals that support for human space exploration is waning and may even begin declining in the coming years. This chapter reviews this history and analyzes five rationales suggested in support of continued human spaceflight: discovery and understanding, national defense, economic competitiveness, human destiny, and geopolitics.
Launius, R.D. (2019), "Human Aspirations to Expand into Space", Space Tourism (Tourism Social Science Series, Vol. 25), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 15-50. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1571-504320190000025002
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