The In-Space Rescue Capability Gap
The lessons of Apollo, Skylab and the space shuttle with respect to the rescue of astronauts in space seem to have been forgotten as the United States enters a new era of space flight that includes commercially provided spacecraft, space tourism, and the return of U.S. astronauts to the moon. The present posture, of not planning for in-space rescue and not having responsive in-space rescue capabilities, needs to be addressed before the need for a rescue materializes. The U. S. has the wherewithal to establish space rescue capabilities and to do so with a sense of urgency. This paper seeks to raise awareness of the need to revisit space rescue policies and close capability gaps.
Author: Grant Cates
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