There is a universe to explore with the space debate topic. Good public policy analysis requires perspective. Research on space exploration should include more than today’s facts, policies, and proposals. Further readings in the political and technological history of the space age provides the perspective needed to judge today’s various space policy proposals and options. Students who combine this historical background with insights provided by basic economics will have a powerful advantage in debates on space exploration policy.
There is an easy way to begin this broader research. As easy as your DVD player or online streaming. The Right Stuff is an upbeat movie based on Tom Wolfe’s best-selling book of the same name. The Right Stuff tells the history of the space age from test pilot Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier through the Mercury astronauts blasting into space. The movie is a catchy chronicle of the beginnings of America’s manned space program, but the book is even better, offering a richer, more detailed account.
Also recommended is The Astronaut Farmer
, a fun and touching movie based on what might seem a wildly implausible premise: a former astronaut tired of waiting for government to open the high frontier, decides to do it himself, with help from his teenage son. (The DVD is under $5 on Amazon