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The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Program and the Department of Defense DilemmaThe U.S. space launch program no longer dominates the world and is now playing 'catch-up' with the world's first commercial launch company, Arianespace. A healthy U.S. commercial launch program is essential and will assure continued low-cost military access to space. The effort to regain the lead in commercial space launch market has been hindered by declining Department of Defense budgets. President Clinton's space policy prohibits expensive new launch vehicles and limits the Department of Defense to low cost upgrades of existing launch vehicles. The U.S. government created the space sector and must ensure a smooth and effective split from the emerging commercial space program in order to regain world dominance. Until U.S. government and commercial ties are severed, the Department of Defense must consider commercial space launch interests when making military decisions. Ariane provides an excellent 'bench mark' for the U.S. to base future launch vehicle upgrades. Ariane advantages were identified and low-cost recommendations have been made. If the U.S. sets the target of first equaling and then surpassing Ariane by incorporating these recommendations, then the U.S. could once again dominate the world commercial launch market and ensure low cost military access to space.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Clapp, William G.
(Weber State Coll. Ogden, UT United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1995
Publication Information
Publication: A Collection of Technical Papers from the 6th Space Logistics Symposium
Subject Category
Systems Analysis
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 95-0936
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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