The National Aerospace Plane: A Political Overview 872529

In 1984 government researchers studied the possibility of an aerospace plane, a vehicle able to take off and land horizontally and reach a low earth orbit. This study led to what is now known as the National Aero-Space Plane (NASP) and a program to develop the technologies required for such an aircraft.
The NASP program was approved by Congress in 1985 and now enlists the help of industry in the form of eight aerospace firms. NASP is certain to have an effect on the future of the United States, especially in the space and defense programs. The implications of NASP are far-reaching and an understanding of these implications should give an idea of the necessity of the program.
This paper looks at the legislative history of the NASP program and how it is viewed by Congress. Some of the reasons for the existence of NASP are also explored. In addition, the paper will briefly explain some of the key technologies required and look at the applications of NASP.


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