NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Deputy Administrator Lori Garver presented Thursday an outline for new and extended program assignments across the agency in support of the president's fiscal year 2011 budget request.
Pending congressional approval, NASA will create new program offices that include exploration technology and development, heavy lift rockets and rocket propulsion technology, exploration precursor robotic missions, human research, and commercial spaceflight opportunities.
Workforce Breakdown by Center
In addition, the budget has increases for the science and aeronautics directorates that will improve earth observation capabilities and help create a next generation air transportation system that is safe, efficient and friendlier to the environment. The work assignments expand on the strengths of NASA's ten centers while allowing the agency to safely fly out the space shuttle manifest and establish a firm foothold in space by extending the International Space Station, likely to 2020 or beyond.
"These assignments build on the deep knowledge and expertise that NASA has developed during five decades," Bolden said. "They recognize our work force's wealth of experience and commitment, and the specialties already existing at the NASA field centers."
Bolden said the work assignments represent a bold new approach to exploring space that will enable NASA to get beyond low-Earth orbit and create robust near-Earth space flight capabilities. In addition, several of the technology development efforts will focus on innovative approaches to spaceflight and other technologies.