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Human Spaceflight Decision-Making as a Potential Well Problem

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Date Issued:
2012
Abstract/Description:
This study investigates funding within the US human spaceflight program in the time-period from 2004 to 2012. The approach taken employed the (")potential well(") model from physical science. The potential well model constrains any physical body trapped within it, and similarly a political (")funding well(") will constrain all programmatic decision-making.Two potential well models are employed, one represents classical physics while the other represents quantum physics. Since each model results in motion with certain properties, it can be seen if funding decisions also exhibit similar properties. In physics, the bifurcation between the classical world of aggregate bodies and the quantum world of individual particles is an indicator of deeper physical principles. This study seeks to explore whether this bifurcation exists in the political world as well. If so, it would help explain space policy evolution from 2004 to 2012, and provide evidence concerning the usefulness of physical models for discovering further trends in social science, including political science.The study of a bifurcation in space policy political decision-making resulted in an unclear relationship since some properties were found to be similar to their physical counterpart, some were found to be different, and one property, the quantization of funding into discrete increments, was absent from political decision-making. Further studies are required to explore this bifurcation in greater detail. However, the potential well did prove to be a powerful model in explaining the evolution of human spaceflight policy in 2004 to 2012 as it provided a framework to explain dynamics that may have otherwise remained unclear.
Title: Human Spaceflight Decision-Making as a Potential Well Problem.
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Name(s): Litwin, Ari, Author
Handberg, Roger, Committee Chair
Dolan, Thomas, Committee Member
Houghton, David, Committee Member
Sadri, Houman, Committee Member
, Committee Member
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2012
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study investigates funding within the US human spaceflight program in the time-period from 2004 to 2012. The approach taken employed the (")potential well(") model from physical science. The potential well model constrains any physical body trapped within it, and similarly a political (")funding well(") will constrain all programmatic decision-making.Two potential well models are employed, one represents classical physics while the other represents quantum physics. Since each model results in motion with certain properties, it can be seen if funding decisions also exhibit similar properties. In physics, the bifurcation between the classical world of aggregate bodies and the quantum world of individual particles is an indicator of deeper physical principles. This study seeks to explore whether this bifurcation exists in the political world as well. If so, it would help explain space policy evolution from 2004 to 2012, and provide evidence concerning the usefulness of physical models for discovering further trends in social science, including political science.The study of a bifurcation in space policy political decision-making resulted in an unclear relationship since some properties were found to be similar to their physical counterpart, some were found to be different, and one property, the quantization of funding into discrete increments, was absent from political decision-making. Further studies are required to explore this bifurcation in greater detail. However, the potential well did prove to be a powerful model in explaining the evolution of human spaceflight policy in 2004 to 2012 as it provided a framework to explain dynamics that may have otherwise remained unclear.
Identifier: CFE0004401 (IID), ucf:49370 (fedora)
Note(s): 2012-08-01
M.A.
Sciences, Political Science
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Space Policy -- Human Spaceflight -- Potential Well Model
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0004401
Restrictions on Access: public 2012-08-15
Host Institution: UCF

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