The Ride Report (1987)

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 5.00.07 PMLEADERSHIP and America’s Future in Space (1987)

The Ride Report



“For two decades, the United States was the undisputed leader in nearly all civilian space endeavors…

“The National Space Policy of 1982, which “establishes the basic goals of United States policy,” includes the directive to maintain United States space leadership.” It further specifies that the United States is fully committed to maintaining world leadership in space transportation,” and that the civilian space program “shall be conducted … to preserve the United States leadership in critical aspects of space science, applications, and technology.”

“Leadership cannot simply be proclaimed – it must be earned…

“Leadership does not require that the U.S. be preeminent in all areas and disciplines of space enterprise.   In fact, the broad spectrum of space activities and the increasing number of spacefaring nations make it virtually impossible for any nation to dominate in this way.   Being an effective leader does mandate, however, that this country have capabilities which enable it to act independently and impressively when and where it chooses, and that its goals be capable of inspiring others – at home and abroad – to support them.  It is essential for this country to move promptly to determine its priorities and to make conscious choices to pursue a set of objectives which will restore its leadership status.”  – Prof. Dr. Sally K. Ride

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