Development of a Center for Space
Exploration Policy Research at SwRI, 15-R9548
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Inclusive Dates: 06/15/05 12/01/07
Background - The purpose of this IR&D project
was to establish a space science policy center at SwRI that can broaden SwRI's
impact on the U.S. space program. The project team staffs the Center for Space
Exploration Policy Research (CSEPR) in the 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. The investigations aims to
provide a larger context for the science research being conducted in space,
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 planned to accomplish its goals by undertaking the following
- 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 four tasks either have
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. It may be found at
- A three-day workshop, Space Science,
Environmental Ethics, and Policy was convened 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-2009. Details
of the workshop and archived video of the presentations may be found 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 April to October 2007.
Details of the series and streaming video of each event may be found at