Feeds

No sacred cows in NASA spaceflight review, chairman says

Next-gen rockets included

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.