Feeds

No sacred cows in NASA spaceflight review, chairman says

Next-gen rockets included

Application security programs and practises

The chairman of a panel appointed by the Obama administration to take a new look a NASA's human spaceflight program said he plans to lead an independent review that will keep an open mind on the agency's long-term plans, including whether its next-generation rocket plans should be modified or scrapped.

"We're to take a fresh look and go where the facts are and basically call it the way we see it," Norman Augustine, a former chief executive of Lockheed Martin, told reporters on a conference call Friday.

Augustine, who led a major review of the space program in 1990, said the 10-person panel will review a wide range of facets of NASA's human space plan, including the architecture of the next-generation rockets that are currently planned to replace the space shuttle program. NASA has already spent more than $6.9 billion on the Ares and Orion model rockets under the so-called Constellation Program.

Without making any predictions, Augustine said the panel wouldn't hesitate to recommend making changes to those plans if the facts support it.

Other considerations under review included where in space NASA should send astronauts. Augustine said the committee will consider a wide range of missions, including those in the earth's orbit, on the moon, to mars and beyond. He also said the program should be "balanced" between sending both robotic and human cargo, but acknowledged Obama's support of human spaceflight.

The panel will balance a variety of considerations, including costs, scientific benefit, and the feasibility of different missions. It will be taking a fresh look at the contractors NASA uses, as well.

The remaining nine members of the panel have not yet been chosen, but will be people of "different perspectives" such as astronauts and engineers, Augustine said. They plan to hold open meetings and accept public comments. The goal is to have a set of recommendation on Obama's desk by August. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.