What Place for the People? The Role of the Public and NGOs in Space Innovation and Governance
A small set of actors has dominated civil space policy and programme development in the United States since the inception of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA officials, major aerospace firms, space scientists in academia, U.S. presidential administrations, members of Congress, and leaders of other U.S. government offices—often working in concert with or in reaction to the policies of foreign national space agencies—have guided decisions concerning what space projects the nation has undertaken. Walter McDougall’s …The Heavens and the Earth, W. D. Kay’s Can Democracies Fly in Space?, and many other works describe the powerful state, industry, and university actors who contributed to NASA’s rise in the late 1950s and helped to shape the agency’s sense of identity, organisational culture, programme choices, and external relationships, which have been focused so centrally on human space flight, over its decades of existence.