What Has the U.S. Gotten Out of the Space Program—

by Eugene E. Dallaire, Assoc. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1979, Vol. 49, Issue 7, Pg. 71-76

Document Type: Feature article


Since the time of its creation in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has spent billions of dollars on space activities. What has the U.S. gotten out of these tremendous expenditures? Has there been any tangible payoff? Certainly one area that's flourished as a result of the space program is global communications. Today, satellites are routinely used to carry international telephone, teletype, and data traffic - at a fraction the cost of before. Although still in its infancy, the use of satellites for navigation, to keep ships and planes on their optimal travel paths, has a promising future. Then, too, the space program has been fueling a major revolution in astronomy, a revolution that will likely transform man's idea both of himself and the universe that produced him. Over the past decade, the many unmanned probes NASA has sent to Venus, Mars, and other planets has greatly increased man's knowledge of the solar system.

Subject Headings: Federal government | Satellites | Traffic management | Navigation (waterway) | Ships | Aircraft and spacecraft | Fuels | Robotics

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