Shuttle Wars

  • John M. Logsdon
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology book series (PSHST)


The tensions which had emerged in 1983–1984 between National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as operator of the space shuttle and other elements of the space community carried over into 1985. The National Security Council had to step in between NASA and the Air Force to mediate their dispute over a backup to the shuttle, and an acceptable compromise was reached early in 1985. In contrast, the antagonism between advocates of commercializing expendable launch vehicles and shuttle supporters increased, focusing both on how best to compete with foreign providers of commercial launch services and on the issue of the post-1988 price for commercial and foreign users of the shuttle. A July 1985 presidential decision on pricing policy did not smooth over the hard feelings. Meanwhile, the space shuttle program moved ahead. NASA launched nine shuttle missions during 1985, pushing to increase the flight rate toward its publicly stated target of 24 launches annually. The teacher to be the first participant in NASA’s Spaceflight Participant Program was announced, and preparations got underway for selecting a second participant, this time a journalist.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Logsdon
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Policy InstituteThe George Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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