22 October 2009

NASA Human Spaceflight Review Final Report

Posted by Ryan Anderson


Today, the “Augustine commission”, a group of aerospace and space exploration leaders tasked by president Obama to review NASA’s human spaceflight efforts, released their final report. It is available here, and I encourage you to read it. The set of recommendations in the report will form the foundation upon which the future of space exploration is built.

I have not read the whole thing yet, but here is the concluding paragraph:

NASA is the most accomplished space organization in the
world. Its human spaceflight activities are nonetheless at
a tipping point, primarily due to a mismatch of goals and
resources. Either additional funds need to be made available
or a far more modest program involving little or no
exploration needs to be adopted. Various options can be
identified that offer exciting and worthwhile opportunities
for the human exploration of space if appropriate funds can
be made available. Such funds can be considerably leveraged
by having NASA attack its overhead costs and change
some of its traditional ways of conducting its affairs—and
by giving its management the authority to bring about such
changes. The American public can take pride in NASA’s
past accomplishments; the opportunity now exists to provide
for the future human spaceflight program worthy of a
great nation.