In the late 1980s, the first Integrated Space Plan was created to give a visual representation showing how the major space infrastructure elements fit together. The original plan by Ron Jones at Rockwell International with help from many famous and respected professionals in the industry adorned many walls at research institutions, universities, and aerospace companies, and even the wall of the NASA administrator’s office. We understand that a few copies of the ISP are still to be found on the walls of some NASA Field Centers.
Today the idea of a single, top-down Plan for space development has been superceded by an organic, multi-path process involving hundreds or thousands of independent entities, all working in their own way to succeed in their own field of endeavor.
In other words, Space Development is no longer a project. It is an industry, or an ecosystem. Over 50 nations have national space programs. More than a dozen new companies now are major players in the manufacturing and launch of complete vehicles, while literally thousands of companies now supply parts, engineering, logistics, or other products and services.
To reflect this new reality (and the difficulty of predicting how and when any given necessary part of the movement to space will occur), the nodes of the new Integrated Space Plan is better described as a set of guideposts for things that will be needed than a flowchart. This also reflects the fact that including lines between nodes to reflect all relationships would result in a completely black drawing!