An Examination of Post-Cold War American and Russian Space Launch Systems

Date of Graduation

Summer 1995


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Jack Crouch


The space programs of the United States and the Soviet Union always operated under a certain amount of Cold War competition. With the Cold War over, that competition no longer drives a push into space. For the Russian Federation, heir to the defunct Soviet Union, this has resulted in fundamental changes in policy and uncertainty as to the continued effectiveness of the Russian space program. The effect on the United States, meanwhile, has been more subtle. Plans for new launch systems have been scrapped and NASA's budget is in danger of suffering deep cuts at a time when current launch systems are approaching the end of their operational lives. By examining the policies and acquisitions of both space programs before and after the breakup of the Soviet Union, this thesis examines the effect of the end of the Cold War upon the space programs to the United States and the Russian Federation, including an analysis of American space policy concerning both its own program and its reaction to the changes in the Russian program.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Stacy Darren Blevins