In 1984 President Ronald Reagan approved a program to build a space station in low-Earth orbit, he named it "Space Station Freedom". With changing administrations the station has undergone continual redesigns and has gradually evolved into a multinational effort -- the International Space Station. NASA has taken a lot of heat for cost overruns, but where does the fault actually lie? Author Donald Beattie places the blame squarely on bureaucrats and the back-seat drivers in Congress and the White House, politicians and lawyers who presume to know better than scientists and engineers. Over the years NASA has continually been saddled with politically motivated redesigns and budget cuts while never having a clearly defined goal. Bringing Russia on board as a major partner was supposed to have two advantages: use the decades of Russian expertise in building space stations to save money; and buy American security by keeping Russian rocket scientists fully employed in peaceful endeavours. But any cost savings were consumed by the chaos within the Byzantine Russian space industry, while Russian rocket technology has already crept over into China and may now be leaking into North Korea.
The space station program has never had a recognised Mission Statement. How can you plan towards achieving an undefined goal? The current administrations rationale seems to be "we said wed do it, so well finish it". Donald A. Beattie served on the Space Station Advisory Committee from 1987 to 1994. He recounts the evolution of this troubled program from the perspective of a participant and close observer who worked side by side with many of the early NASA Space Station managers. He pulls no punches in describing the political and managerial conflicts that resulted in severely compromising this major international program. This is the inside story-the escapades of the ISS program.
Buy ISScapades book by Donald A. Beattie from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(180mm x 255mm x 14mm)
Publisher: Collector's Guide Publishing
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Author Biography - Donald A. Beattie
Donald A. Beattie is a former senior manager at NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Energy Research and Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy. He served on the Space Station Advisory Committee from 1987 to 1994. He is the author of "History and Overview of Solar Heat Technologies" and "Taking Science to the Moon." He lives in Jacksonville, Florida.