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Running head: H. R. 312 1
H.R. 312 “The Mars Exploration Act”
Kahlib J. Fischer
February 11, 2015
PADM 550-B01
Dr. Kahlib Fischer
H.R. 312 2
Defining the Problem
Space exploration has been limited since the moon landing to
space station visits and the
deployment of the Hubble telescope and satellites (2015). In
2012, President Obama signed into
law H.R. 312, “The Mars Exploration Act” (2012). This bill
provides funding for the
development and deployment of: 1) the “rovers”; 2) deep space
transportation for humans; and 3)
laboratory and housing facilities on Mars (Robinson & Smith,
2012).
May
Biblical guidelines: Of course, the Bible says nothing about
space exploration. Government is
charged primarily with protecting the inalienable rights of its
citizens (Fischer). HR 312 does
not violate these rights. The Biblical notion of “sphere
sovereignty” implies that there are other
spheres of society, such as non-profits and industry, which
might be considered as participants in
space exploration (Monsma, 2008). In the past, space
exploration has been linked to national
defense, for fear that other nations would gain the upper-hand in
space and use that advantage
against American citizens (Neuhaus, 2012). Since government
has a divine mandate to protect
its citizens, space exploration might be supported.
Constitutional guidelines: The “common defense” portion of the
preamble supports passage of
this bill. Article 1 section 8 provides further points of support:
the promotion of science and
progress, the development of a sound military, and the
regulation of commerce with foreign
nations.
Can
Political Feasibility: Generally, the public favors further mars
exploration and colonization
(Smith, 2014). The passage of the bill was largely bi-partisan,
but a significant Republican
minority tried to block passage arguing that the funding was not
present for the bill and that the
H.R. 312 3
President was merely doing this to distract from criticism of his
health care legislation and other
scandals (Neuhaus, 2012). Since passage, some experts have
argued that Mars colonization is
not obtainable as NASA is currently constructed and has argued
for either repeal of HR 312 or
significant modification (Richards, 2015).
Financial feasibility: Total cost of the bill was estimated at
$20.5 billion, according to the
Congressional Budget Office (“H.R. 312”). At the time of
passage, Democrats and Republicans
were grappling with the debt ceiling crisis (Barnes, 2011).
Practical feasibility: The bill was set up to fund NASA efforts
for Mars exploration over 20
years. The major challenge was the development of sufficiently
fast and safe space travel for
humans (Geyer, 2012). Rovers have been sent to Mars, so, in
effect, Phase 1 has been achieved.
Significant challenges exist for phases 2 and 3, however, as
NASA grapples with developing the
proper technology for long-term space exploration and
colonization (Richards, 2015).
Should
HR 312 passes the May portion of the analysis, with the caveat
that government should allow for
business and non-profit participation. The Can portion of the
analysis is more challenging,
simply because of current levels of deficit spending in the
federal government as well as the
technological challenges. Nevertheless, HR 312 represents a
legitimate area for government
involvement. Space exploration, if not simply for the sake of
military defense, should continue
and thus government must be involved. We are not able to
choose ideal times for something as
lofty and abstract as space exploration; yet it must remain a
national priority.
H.R. 312 4
References
Barnes, A. (2011). The Debt ceiling crisis. National Review
Online. Retrieved from
http://www.nro.com/dc_13
Fischer, K. Biblical principles of government [PDF document].
Retrieved from Lecture Notes
Online website: https://learn.liberty.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-
6267706-dt-content-rid-
43218699_1/courses/PADM550_B01_201520/Biblical%20Princi
ples%20of%20Govern
ment%281%29.pdf
Geyer, A. (2012). To mars and beyond. Space. 15(1), 52-56.
doi:10.1108/03090560710821161
H.R. 312 (2012). The Mars Exploration Act. Congressional
Budget Office. Retrieved from
www.cbo.gov.HR312.
Monsma, S. (2008). Healing for a broken world. Wheaton, IL:
Crossway Books.
Neuhaus, J. (2012). Mars madness. Space Exploration.
Retrieved from
http://www.spaceex.com/mmhr312
Richards, D. (2015). The Mars question. Journal of Science and
Politics, 10(2), 38-42. Retrieved
from http://www.jsp.org
Robinson, J. & Smith, B. (2012). What does HR 312 mean for
the future of space exploration?
Journal of Science and Politics, 4(2), 3-12.
doi:10.1108/988890560710821161
Sires, D. (2015, October 9). Has NASA lost its way? Popular
Science, 8, 27-29.
Smith, R. (2014). Does the public even care? Space Exploration.
Retrieved from
http://www.spaceex.com/pubhr312
http://www.nro.com/dc_13
https://learn.liberty.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-6267706-dt-content-
rid-
43218699_1/courses/PADM550_B01_201520/Biblical%20Princi
ples%20of%20Government%281%29.pdf
https://learn.liberty.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-6267706-dt-content-
rid-
43218699_1/courses/PADM550_B01_201520/Biblical%20Princi
ples%20of%20Government%281%29.pdf
https://learn.liberty.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-6267706-dt-content-
rid-
43218699_1/courses/PADM550_B01_201520/Biblical%20Princi
ples%20of%20Government%281%29.pdf
http://www.cbo.gov.hr312/
http://www.spaceex.com/mmhr312
http://www.jsp.org/
http://www.spaceex.com/pubhr312Defining the
ProblemMayCanShouldReferences
PADM 550
Policy Briefs Instructions
For Modules/Weeks 3–7, you are expected to submit a 1 1/2–2-
page paper (not including the title page, abstract, and reference
page) in current APA format in which the May-Can-Should
model is applied in the context of the policy focus in the
assigned module/week. Be certain to emphasize a focused
analysis of a particular issue chosen from the broader policy
concentration for the assigned module/week. You must include
citations from:
1. all of the required reading and presentations from the
assigned module/week
2. all relevant sources from Modules/Weeks 1–2 (especially the
"Biblical Principles of Government" article), and
3. 3–5 outside sources. NOTE: These sources should be focused
on the problem and the piece of legislation, and you may find
that you need more than just 3-5 sources to adequately research
and discuss these items.
4. Please feel free to use the following link for the purposes of
additional research.
Students often struggle with keeping the analysis needed for
these policy briefs to just 2 pages of content at most (not
counting the title page and references), and it can be hard to see
past one's choice of wording to discover that there are indeed
many ways to say the same thing with less words. Attached are
"before and after" samples of the same policy brief; the first
was too long and includes edits of how to shorten it, and the
second shows the finished product at 2 pages. Review these
before writing your first policy brief.
NOTE: the sample briefs are not perfect in every respect in
terms of following the "May-Can-Should" analysis. It is mean
to show you how to be more concise in communicating ideas.
Submit the appropriate assignment by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on
Sunday of the assigned module/week.

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Running head H. R. 312 1 H.R. 312 The .docx

  • 1. Running head: H. R. 312 1 H.R. 312 “The Mars Exploration Act” Kahlib J. Fischer February 11, 2015 PADM 550-B01 Dr. Kahlib Fischer H.R. 312 2 Defining the Problem Space exploration has been limited since the moon landing to space station visits and the
  • 2. deployment of the Hubble telescope and satellites (2015). In 2012, President Obama signed into law H.R. 312, “The Mars Exploration Act” (2012). This bill provides funding for the development and deployment of: 1) the “rovers”; 2) deep space transportation for humans; and 3) laboratory and housing facilities on Mars (Robinson & Smith, 2012). May Biblical guidelines: Of course, the Bible says nothing about space exploration. Government is charged primarily with protecting the inalienable rights of its citizens (Fischer). HR 312 does not violate these rights. The Biblical notion of “sphere sovereignty” implies that there are other spheres of society, such as non-profits and industry, which might be considered as participants in space exploration (Monsma, 2008). In the past, space exploration has been linked to national defense, for fear that other nations would gain the upper-hand in space and use that advantage against American citizens (Neuhaus, 2012). Since government has a divine mandate to protect its citizens, space exploration might be supported.
  • 3. Constitutional guidelines: The “common defense” portion of the preamble supports passage of this bill. Article 1 section 8 provides further points of support: the promotion of science and progress, the development of a sound military, and the regulation of commerce with foreign nations. Can Political Feasibility: Generally, the public favors further mars exploration and colonization (Smith, 2014). The passage of the bill was largely bi-partisan, but a significant Republican minority tried to block passage arguing that the funding was not present for the bill and that the H.R. 312 3 President was merely doing this to distract from criticism of his health care legislation and other scandals (Neuhaus, 2012). Since passage, some experts have argued that Mars colonization is not obtainable as NASA is currently constructed and has argued for either repeal of HR 312 or
  • 4. significant modification (Richards, 2015). Financial feasibility: Total cost of the bill was estimated at $20.5 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (“H.R. 312”). At the time of passage, Democrats and Republicans were grappling with the debt ceiling crisis (Barnes, 2011). Practical feasibility: The bill was set up to fund NASA efforts for Mars exploration over 20 years. The major challenge was the development of sufficiently fast and safe space travel for humans (Geyer, 2012). Rovers have been sent to Mars, so, in effect, Phase 1 has been achieved. Significant challenges exist for phases 2 and 3, however, as NASA grapples with developing the proper technology for long-term space exploration and colonization (Richards, 2015). Should HR 312 passes the May portion of the analysis, with the caveat that government should allow for business and non-profit participation. The Can portion of the analysis is more challenging, simply because of current levels of deficit spending in the federal government as well as the
  • 5. technological challenges. Nevertheless, HR 312 represents a legitimate area for government involvement. Space exploration, if not simply for the sake of military defense, should continue and thus government must be involved. We are not able to choose ideal times for something as lofty and abstract as space exploration; yet it must remain a national priority. H.R. 312 4 References Barnes, A. (2011). The Debt ceiling crisis. National Review Online. Retrieved from http://www.nro.com/dc_13 Fischer, K. Biblical principles of government [PDF document]. Retrieved from Lecture Notes Online website: https://learn.liberty.edu/bbcswebdav/pid- 6267706-dt-content-rid- 43218699_1/courses/PADM550_B01_201520/Biblical%20Princi ples%20of%20Govern
  • 6. ment%281%29.pdf Geyer, A. (2012). To mars and beyond. Space. 15(1), 52-56. doi:10.1108/03090560710821161 H.R. 312 (2012). The Mars Exploration Act. Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved from www.cbo.gov.HR312. Monsma, S. (2008). Healing for a broken world. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books. Neuhaus, J. (2012). Mars madness. Space Exploration. Retrieved from http://www.spaceex.com/mmhr312 Richards, D. (2015). The Mars question. Journal of Science and Politics, 10(2), 38-42. Retrieved from http://www.jsp.org Robinson, J. & Smith, B. (2012). What does HR 312 mean for the future of space exploration? Journal of Science and Politics, 4(2), 3-12. doi:10.1108/988890560710821161 Sires, D. (2015, October 9). Has NASA lost its way? Popular Science, 8, 27-29. Smith, R. (2014). Does the public even care? Space Exploration. Retrieved from http://www.spaceex.com/pubhr312
  • 7. http://www.nro.com/dc_13 https://learn.liberty.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-6267706-dt-content- rid- 43218699_1/courses/PADM550_B01_201520/Biblical%20Princi ples%20of%20Government%281%29.pdf https://learn.liberty.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-6267706-dt-content- rid- 43218699_1/courses/PADM550_B01_201520/Biblical%20Princi ples%20of%20Government%281%29.pdf https://learn.liberty.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-6267706-dt-content- rid- 43218699_1/courses/PADM550_B01_201520/Biblical%20Princi ples%20of%20Government%281%29.pdf http://www.cbo.gov.hr312/ http://www.spaceex.com/mmhr312 http://www.jsp.org/ http://www.spaceex.com/pubhr312Defining the ProblemMayCanShouldReferences PADM 550 Policy Briefs Instructions For Modules/Weeks 3–7, you are expected to submit a 1 1/2–2- page paper (not including the title page, abstract, and reference page) in current APA format in which the May-Can-Should model is applied in the context of the policy focus in the assigned module/week. Be certain to emphasize a focused analysis of a particular issue chosen from the broader policy concentration for the assigned module/week. You must include citations from: 1. all of the required reading and presentations from the
  • 8. assigned module/week 2. all relevant sources from Modules/Weeks 1–2 (especially the "Biblical Principles of Government" article), and 3. 3–5 outside sources. NOTE: These sources should be focused on the problem and the piece of legislation, and you may find that you need more than just 3-5 sources to adequately research and discuss these items. 4. Please feel free to use the following link for the purposes of additional research. Students often struggle with keeping the analysis needed for these policy briefs to just 2 pages of content at most (not counting the title page and references), and it can be hard to see past one's choice of wording to discover that there are indeed many ways to say the same thing with less words. Attached are "before and after" samples of the same policy brief; the first was too long and includes edits of how to shorten it, and the second shows the finished product at 2 pages. Review these before writing your first policy brief. NOTE: the sample briefs are not perfect in every respect in terms of following the "May-Can-Should" analysis. It is mean to show you how to be more concise in communicating ideas. Submit the appropriate assignment by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned module/week.