Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  Research Council report: NASA's Strategic Direction

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Research Council report: NASA's Strategic Direction
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-05-2012 02:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
National Research Council (NRC) release
National Disagreement Over NASA's Goals and Objectives Detrimental to Agency Planning, Budgeting Efforts

Without a national consensus on strategic goals and objectives for NASA, the agency cannot be expected to establish or work toward achieving long-term priorities, says a new report from the National Research Council. In addition, there is a mismatch between the portfolio of programs and activities assigned to the agency and the budget allocated by Congress, and legislative restrictions inhibit NASA from more efficiently managing its personnel and infrastructure. The White House should take the lead in forging a new consensus on NASA's future in order to more closely align the agency's budget and objectives and remove restrictions impeding NASA's efficient operations.

"A current stated interim goal of NASA's human spaceflight program is to visit an asteroid by 2025," said Albert Carnesale, chancellor emeritus and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who chaired the committee that wrote the report. "However, we've seen limited evidence that this has been widely accepted as a compelling destination by NASA's own work force, by the nation as a whole, or by the international community. The lack of national consensus on NASA's most publicly visible human spaceflight goal along with budget uncertainty has undermined the agency's ability to guide program planning and allocate funding."

The committee that authored the report was not asked to offer views on what NASA's goals, objectives, and strategy should be; rather it was tasked with recommending how these goals, objectives, and strategies might best be established and communicated.

The report recommends establishing a national consensus on NASA's future with the executive branch taking the lead after technical consultations with potential international partners. The strategic goals and objectives chosen should be ambitious yet technically rational and should focus on the long term, the report says.

To reduce the discrepancy between the overall size of NASA's budget and its current portfolio of missions, facilities, and personnel, the report says, the White House, Congress, and NASA, as appropriate, could pursue any or all of the following four options:

  • Institute an aggressive restructuring program to reduce infrastructure and personnel costs and improve efficiency;

  • Engage in and commit for the long term to more cost-sharing partnerships with other U.S. government agencies, private sector industries, and international partners;

  • Increase the size of the NASA budget;

  • Reduce considerably the size and scope of elements of NASA's current program portfolio to better fit the current and anticipated budget profile.
Regardless of the approach or approaches selected, the report recognizes that eliminating the mismatch will be difficult.[/LIST] Because future human spaceflight or large-scale Earth and space science projects will likely involve multiple nations, the U.S. should explore international approaches to such projects, the report says. To do so, the U.S. must have a program that other countries want to participate in and must be willing to give substantial responsibility to its partners. The U.S. must also demonstrate its reliability and attractiveness as an international partner.

The study was sponsored by NASA. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are private, independent nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter. The Research Council is the principal operating agency of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Lou Chinal
Member

Posts: 946
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 01-27-2013 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Let's visit the asteroid that's going to fly by us April 13th, 2029.

328KF
Member

Posts: 829
From:
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 01-27-2013 10:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The typical politician in Washington would LOVE that option...push for a goal that's so far in the future he'll be out of office long before any real financial and political commitment is required.

I prefer the third option above: Increase the size of the NASA budget, once the clear goals are established. We have seen a pattern of starting over again and again, largely as the result of Washington's "that was the last guy's idea" mentality.

I think we're pretty far along the path of the second option. Unfortunately, we have seen several times (and are currently in the middle of such) how this ultimately leads to delays and cost increases.

I think that if such partnerships are pursued, they should be done from the outset, not once the hardware development is underway. After Bill Clinton intervened, ISS was delayed for years with the service module in the critical path and the Russians' internal financial and political issues.

We now wait on private industry to develop their manned systems while we pay tens of millions of dollars per seat to the Russians. It remains to be seen what might come of the ESA contribution to the Orion MPCV, and how much money that really saves in the long run with all of the issues that comes with international engineering projects.

Those four bullet points are laughingly obvious, given the amount of resources likely devoted to yet another study group in Washington.

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1017
From: Maspeth, NY
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 01-30-2013 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another report — yawn! I like option three plus skipping the asteroid mission. But I bet there is a crowd in D.C., and among the major newspapers that would love option four or maybe an option five — make NASA just a big R&D facility.

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2012 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement