Space Research: At a Crossroads

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Science  13 Feb 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4790, pp. 751-754
DOI: 10.1126/science.235.4790.751


The current state and future directions of the U.S. space-science program are assessed in the wake of the Challenger accident, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings budget reduction act, and the report of the National Commission on Space. A renewed emphasis on moderate-scale, quickresponse missions will be of special importance for scientific progress and will compensate in part for the postponement of most major space missions. Satellites and manned space stations in Earth orbit, along with unmanned planetary missions, will continue to be the dominant elements in the space program. Future progress and the continuation of U.S. leadership depend on the vitality of U.S. space research.