In developing this Strategic Plan, we have made
certain assumptions concerning critical factors in our external environment.
Significant changes in the external environment could force changes in our
ability to implement this Plan, which are based on the following key
- NASA's budget will remain flat or decline, in real terms, for the
foreseeable future, except for allowances for new Presidential initiatives.
- NASA will continue to be required to streamline its workforce and
supporting infrastructure, while meeting current and future customer mission
requirements at the lowest possible cost.
- Understanding the Earth's environment and global change will continue to
be an important issue, requiring NASA's leadership in space observations and
- NASA will continue to have a leading role in developing aeronautics
technology jointly with industry and academia and will continue to support the
safety and efficiency of the national air transportation system.
- The international Space Station will be successfully developed,
deployed, and utilized as a research platform through a partnership involving
Canada, Europe, Japan, and Russia.
- Human activity in space will continue to play a vital role in the
Nation's program of scientific and technological research.
- Space science will continue to be an integral part of the national
program of basic scientific research.
- The Space Shuttle will be relied on to support NASA missions until a new
"human-rated" launch system is developed.
- NASA will develop new capabilities for lower cost, more reliable access
to space to support civil, national security, and commercial requirements, in
partnership with the private sector.
- International cooperation will be increasingly important in achieving
NASA's missions, and international commitments will be honored so that NASA
will be seen as a viable, reliable partner in all program areas.
- There will continue to be a viable U.S. industrial and academic base for
aeronautics and space activities, and NASA's technology will continue to be
valuable to industry, enhancing U.S. competitiveness.
- NASA will work closely with other Federal agencies to ensure coordinated
efforts in areas of space and aeronautics science and technology.