This book explores and assesses the future of NASA which is at a critical juncture. The agency is in the midst of phasing out the Space Shuttle program and beginning another major undertaking, the Constellation program - which will create the next generation of spacecraft for human spaceflight and is expected to cost upward of $230 billion. This massive effort, unparalleled since the transition from the Apollo program to the Shuttle program, presents the agency with myriad complex and interdependent challenges. NASA is taking on this endeavour against a backdrop of growing national government fiscal imbalance and budget deficits that continue to strain all federal agencies' resources. While NASA's budget represents less than 2 percent of the federal government's fiscal discretionary budget, the agency is increasingly being asked to expand its portfolio to support important scientific missions including the study of climate change. Therefore, it is exceedingly important that these resources be managed as effectively and efficiently as possible.
This book consists of public documents which have been located, gathered, combined, reformatted, and enhanced with a subject index, selectively edited and bound to provide easy access.