Development of a Center for Space Exploration Policy Research at SwRI, 15-R9548

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Principal Investigators
Mark A. Bullock
David Grinspoon
Clark Chapman

Inclusive Dates:  06/15/05 – Current

Background - The purpose of this project is to establish a space science policy center at SwRI that will broaden SwRI's impact on the U.S. space program. The project team staffs the Center for Space Exploration Policy Research (CSEPR) in SwRI's Space Studies Department. This center seeks to stimulate renewed reflection on the ethical, cultural, and philosophic aspects of our nation's space policy. These investigations will provide a larger context for the science research being conducted, completing the cycle of knowledge by connecting scientific research to the concerns of the citizens that fund this work.

Approach - The Center for Space Exploration Policy Research will accomplish its goals by undertaking the following tasks:

  • Establish CSEPR by creating a web site with space policy resources and original work.
  • Convene a multidisciplinary workshop on space policy, ethics, history, and philosophy. The participants contribute scholarly chapters to a peer-reviewed book to be published in 2007.
  • Organize a series of public events that convene expert panels to discuss the policy and ethics of space exploration.

Accomplishments - All tasks have either been accomplished or are near completion.

  • A comprehensive web site for CSEPR, with notices about recent developments in space policy and an extensive bibliography, has been developed and is maintained by the project manager. The site is
  • A three-day workshop, Space Science, Environmental Ethics, and Policy was held at NASA Ames Research Center April 11-13, 2007. Twelve of 14 chapters for the proceedings have been received and reviewed. The book will be published by mid-2008. Details of the workshop and archived video of the presentations are available at
  • A public panel series, Beyond Earth: Ethical and Political Choices in Space, consisting of four evening events at the Denver of Museum of Nature and Science took place from April to October 2007. Details of the series and streaming video of each event may be found at

2007 Program Home