Like an evolving company, the US space program has options for both horizontal and vertical expansion. I would characterize the evolution of commercial launch services as a kind of vertical expansion. Conversely, horizontal expansion would require revolutionary new ventures in space exploration.
These would be the kind of initiatives that open new frontiers, develop new technologies, or recapture the sense of national unity that Apollo did. But in order for space to become an economic frontier, it had to undergo a certain familiarization. A vision of a vast and dangerous frontier had to be reimagined so that investors would be willing to take financial risks.
Drawing on an age-old American means of domesticating the frontier, it put a New England woman, Christa McAuliffe, on the space shuttle Challenger. Space travel, as the publicity around her flight claimed, was now safe.
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The Challenger explosion clearly posed a serious challenge to the Reagan Plan. The shuttle's visible and tragic demise would quash the hopes of those in the Reagan administration who sought a much more privatized space program, and NASA would take years to recover if it ever did. But, the ideology -- of economic expansion, technological revolution, venture and growth -- survived, and eventually thrived thanks to Reagan's audacious speech the very night of the disaster.
Even as it eulogized the seven victims of the Challenger explosion, the address functioned as a vigorous apologia for the American-style publicity that was behind NASA's s adventures.
11th God of Vintage Challenger Tournament Coverage
I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program, and what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public.
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That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. In this way, Reagan framed the shocking and manifest character of the Challenger disaster as a normal product of political freedom. Publicized disasters, Reagan argued, have a direct ideological function -- that is, through their visibility we are reminded of "the way freedom is. Playwrights Register Log in Wishlist 0 Shopping cart 0.
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Play : Pages: 36 pgs. Cast: 10 m, 4 w, 1 flex, 1 boy, some doubling possible. Product tags.
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