Augustine Panel to Brief Senior Officials on Friday

Augustine Expects to Give White House Half-Dozen Options for NASA’s Future
Space News

The blue-ribbon panel asked by the White House in May to come up with a set of options for NASA’s human spaceflight future is expected to brief senior administration officials Friday on as many as eight such scenarios, according to retired Lockheed Martin Chief Executive Norman Augustine, the man leading the 10-member committee.

“My guess is there will be between six and eight options,” he told Space News in an interview Tuesday. “We’re still mulling. There are some other options we’d like to add, but to give the president 15 options would be to do a disservice.”

The Augustine panel has spent the past two months reviewing alternatives to the U.S. space agency’s Moon-focused Constellation program, which includes the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and the Ares 1 rocket designed to launch it into low-Earth orbit. Last week the panel debated the merits of a list of seven options that ranged from the conservative — including a plan to stretch out Constellation beyond its planned operational capability of March 2015 — to more costly scenarios that would have NASA bypass the Moon and send humans to Mars.

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