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Mankind Beyond EarthThe History, Science, and Future of Human Space Exploration$
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Claude Piantadosi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162432

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162432.001.0001

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Men and Machines

Men and Machines

(p.13) 1. Men and Machines
Mankind Beyond Earth

Claude A. Piantadosi

Columbia University Press

This chapter begins by considering the myriad of the problems faced by NASA. These include the difficulty of trying to maintain in-house expertise in all areas of space research; the financial constraints that forced the agency to outsource certain functions, such as cargo delivery to the International Space Station (ISS); the massive cost overruns in the Mars Science Laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2008; and flattening of the NASA budget and ISS funding with the onset of the 2009 recession, causing decades of international investment to languish. The chapter then turns to NASA's successful robotic exploration programs followed by discussion of how the Moon is the only platform large enough and close enough to build a community in space.

Keywords:   NASA, space research, outsourcing, International Space Station, Mars Science Laboratory, robotic exploration, Moon

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