The Vision for Space Exploration:
A Brief History (Part 1)

Posted on October 23, 2012 by Paul Spudis

Near the end of my recent two hour co-appearance with Dr. Jim Vedda on The Space Show (October 19, 2012), an ongoing misconception emerged about the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) and prompts me to detail some of the history of the VSE and its original intent. Such a review is timely as discussions rage about NASA’s current and future direction.

Look up the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) on Wikipedia. You will read that it was a “visionary plan for space” announced by President George W. Bush in January 2004. The VSE was devised to give our national civil space program a long-range direction – making human missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond the new strategic horizon for NASA, our national space agency. With the bipartisan passage of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005, the VSE became our national space policy; the same policy was renewed three years later by Congress. Then, in the spring of 2010, it was terminated by the current administration.

Where did the VSE come from, what exactly happened to it and why did it go away? Answering these questions requires some background in order to give the context of the decisions about the VSE, and to explain how it came to be implemented by NASA.

Read More: The Vision for Space Exploration: A Brief History (Part 1) | Spudis Lunar Resources.

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