Low Earth orbit, or LEO, is the gateway to space and the starting point for building the spacefaring infrastructure to extend human spacefaring operations throughout the central solar system. In this photo, the Moon floats above the limb of the Earth’s atmosphere. (Photograph source: US Government)
America’s leadership in space is in jeopardy. Since the 1950’s, America has been a leading space exploring civilization, applying our wealth and technological capabilities to extending scientific discovery into space. Without doubt, America and our partners in space exploration have benefited significantly from these accomplishments. Further, America has led the world in developing commercial and national security space applications. Yet, over two generations after the start of the first era of the space age, America’s leadership in space is diminishing as other nations are catching up through comparable achievements and capabilities.
Today, America has foolishly paused at the threshold of a bold new era of the space age giving our competitors in the new space race time to catch up. Our American spacefaring dream of achieving mastery of human spacefaring operations still beckons, but America’s spacefaring enterprises lack the boldness and drive needed to sustain world space leadership and win this new space race.
While space exploration and scientific discovery will remain important American space efforts, the primary focus of this new era of the space age will be on industrializing space. Americans, as space explorers turned spacefarers, must now focus on undertaking the bold new private and government space enterprises necessary to tap the knowledge, energy, resources, and wealth that space has to offer America and the world.
The purpose of this Spacefaring America Initiative is to explain why building this spacefaring infrastructure is necessary, how it can now be accomplished, and how this will enable America to successfully compete in the new space race by becoming a true commercial human spacefaring nation.