NASA Human Spaceflight Review Meets Today

June 17th, 2009

Posted by: admin

Technology Review reports in advance of today’s meeting of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, here in Washington.  The panel was announced last month by President Obama, in advance of his nominating Gen. Charles Bolden, Jr. to head NASA.  Points worth noting from the article:

  • “three key questions that the panel will examine: whether it’s possible to reduce the gap in launch capability, what the options are for extending the use of the ISS beyond 2016, and what a timetable for missions beyond low-earth orbit (LEO) might look like, given budget constraints.”

  • The panel will be advice-only.  Recommendations will be provided, but not binding.  That may have been necessary to get a NASA Administrator candidate on board
  • While the panel will address the balance of human and robotic missions, it will not address other priorities for NASA.  This is a mixed bag.  While it allows the panel to focus on a specific aspect of NASA, it does not allow for an examination of overall NASA priorities – something that arguably is as needed as a general assessment of the human spaceflight agenda.

The panel is supposed to provide recommendations in August.  I would expect more meetings in a relatively quick timeframe.  You might be able to watch these meetings on NASA TV, or via the NASA website.

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