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Aerospace Translation Services

Over the past 3 decades, the one aspect that has been most influential on the development of the American space program has been the impact of the U.S. Space Shuttle.  Despite the high cost of operations, the shuttle program was hugely successful despite human tragedies.  The retirement of the shuttle program has forced a major redesign of U.S. human spaceflight.

The spaceshuttle program was to be replaced by the Constillation program, which centered on the development of a new crewed spacecraft called the Orion.   The Constillation program was proposed by President George W. Bush proposed and would be suitable for return trips to the moon and a manned mars mission.  However, the Obama administration overturned the Bush vision and encouraged development in the private sector, but restricts human exploration beyond Earth orbit, while extending the lifetime of the International Space Station to 2020.  Unfortunately, this puts the U.S. in an awkward position of focusing US human spaceflight activities on Earth orbit, but without the independent means of US astronauts to reach it.  This increases the likelihood that the next footsteps on the moon will be taken by Chinese taikonauts.

Since 2000, spacecraft design has primarily centered on unmanned spacecraft that are faster and cheaper.  However, recent post launch failures suggest that faster and cheaper may not be viable.  Interest is still strong in smaller spacecraft which is evident in recent small satellite engineering.  There has also been significant focus on development of robotic spacecraft including the James Webb Space Telescope that features a mirror 3 times larger than the Hubble telescope’s and promises an explosion in new astral findings.  The European Space Agency’s comet probe, Philae, which landed on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko began sending data back on June 14, 2015.  It is anticipate that Philae will provide information to help unlock the mystery of the origins of the solar system.  The European Union also launched a new global navigation satellite system called Galileo.  Unlike the American system, Galileo is operated by civilian authorities, not military.