About this book
When Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980, limits on NASA funding and the lack of direction under the Nixon and Carter administrations had left the U.S. space program at a crossroads. In contrast to his predecessors, Reagan saw outer space as humanity’s final frontier and as an opportunity for global leadership. His optimism and belief in American exceptionalism guided a decade of U.S. activities in space, including bringing the space shuttle into operation, dealing with the 1986 Challenger accident and its aftermath, committing to a permanently crewed space station, encouraging private sector space efforts, and fostering international space partnerships with both U.S. allies and with the Soviet Union. Drawing from a trove of declassified primary source materials and oral history interviews, John M. Logsdon provides the first comprehensive account of Reagan’s civilian and commercial space policies during his eight years in the White House. Even as a fiscal conservative who was hesitant to increase NASA’s budget, Reagan’s enthusiasm for the space program made him perhaps the most pro-space president in American history.
Ronald Reagan United States Space Program Space Exploration Reagan Administration NASA National Space Policy American exceptionalism space policy Challenger disaster Senior Interagency Group for Space Gil Rye presidential decision-making International Space Station space commercialization private sector space activities space shuttle program National Security Council Soviet Union space program Rogers Commission international space partnership