NRC Appoints Space Program Review Committee

The National Research Council (NRC) has appointed an ad hoc committee “to undertake a study to review the long-term goals, core capabilities, and direction of the U.S. human spaceflight program and make recommendations to enable a sustainable U.S. human spaceflight program.”

The 17-member committee is co-chaired by Dr. Jonathan Lunine, a professor of physical sciences at Cornell University, and William Perry, a Stanford University professor who served as defense secretary under President Bill Clinton. Other members of the committee include former NASA astronaut Bryan D. O’Connor, Houston-based consultant Mary Lynne Dittmar, and Founder Ariel Waldman.

The list seems rather short on representatives from the “NewSpace” community. A full list of committee members with biographies is reproduced after the break.

The committee’s responsibilities are to

“Provide findings, rationale, prioritized recommendations, and decision rules that could enable and guide future planning for U.S. human space exploration. The recommendations will describe a high-level strategic approach to ensuring the sustainable pursuit of national goals enabled by human space exploration, answering enduring questions, and delivering value to the nation over the fiscal year (FY) period of FY2014 through FY2023, while considering the program’s likely evolution in 2015-2030.”

Congress ordered NASA‘s Office of Inspector General to conduct the review as part of NASA’s 2010 Authorization Act. The inspector general, which is the space agency’s internal watchdog, commissioned the NRC to conduct the study.


Dr. Jonathan I. Lunine – (Co-Chair)
Cornell University

JONATHAN I. LUNINE (NAS) is the director of the Center for Radiophysics and Space Research and David C. Duncan Professor in the Physical Sciences at Cornell University. Dr. Lunine is interested in how planets form and evolve, what processes maintain and establish habitability, and what the limits of environments capable of sustaining life are. He pursues these interests through theoretical modeling and participation in spacecraft missions. He works with the radar and other instruments on the Cassini Saturn Orbiter, and was part of the science team for the Huygens landing on Saturn’s moon Titan. He is co-investigator on the Juno mission launched in 2011 to Jupiter, and an interdisciplinary scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope.. Dr. Lunine has contributed to or led a variety of mission concept studies for solar system probes and space-based detection of planets around other stars. He has chaired or served on a number of advisory and strategic planning committees for NASA and the NSF. He is the winner of the Harold C. Urey Prize of the DPS/American Astronomical Society, the Macelwane Medal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Zeldovich Prize in Commission B of COSPAR, and the Basic Science Award of the International Academy of Astronautics. He is a fellow of the AGU and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Lunine received a B.S. in physics and astronomy from the University of Rochester and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in planetary science from the California Institute of Technology.. Dr. Lunine has served on several NRC committees including as co-chair for the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life and the Committee for a Review of Programs to Determine the Extent of Life in the Universe, and as a member of the Committee on Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010.

The Honorable William J. Perry – (Co-Chair)
Stanford University

WILLIAM J. PERRY (NAE) is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor Emeritus at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University, with a joint appointment at the Stanford Institute for International Studies (SIIS) and the School of Engineering. He is also a senior fellow at SIIS and the Hoover Institution, and serves as co-director of the Preventive Defense Project, a research collaboration of Stanford and Harvard Universities. He was the co-director of the Center for International Security and Arms Control (CISAC), during which time he was also a half time professor at Stanford. Dr. Perry was the 19th secretary of defense for the United States, serving from February 1994 to January 1997. He previously served as deputy secretary of defense and as under-secretary of defense for research and engineering. Dr. Perry is on the board of directors of several emerging high-tech companies and is chairman of Global Technology Partners. His previous business experience includes serving as a laboratory director for General Telephone and Electronics; founder and president of ESL Inc.; executive vice- president of Hambrecht & Quist Inc; and founder and chairman of Technology Strategies & Alliances. He is an expert in U.S. foreign policy, national security and arms control. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University, all in mathematics. Dr. Perry has served on several NRC committees including as chair of the Grand Challenges for Engineering Committee and co-chair of the Committee on Technical and Privacy Dimensions of Information for Terrorism Prevention and Other National Goals.

Dr. Bernard F. Burke
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

BERNARD F. BURKE (NAS) is the William A.M. Burden Professor of Astrophysics, Emeritus, at MIT. He is also a principal investigator at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. His research career has covered a wide-range of activities, including the co-discovery of Jupiter radio bursts and the discovery of the first “Einstein Ring,” a manifestation of the warping of space-time by matter that was predicted by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity. Dr. Burke was president of the American Astronomical Society and served as a member of the National Science Board. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of AAAS, and a recipient of the NASA Group Achievement Award for Very Long Baseline Interferometry. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from MIT. Dr. Burke has served on numerous NRC committees, including the Committee on the Assessment of Solar System Exploration, the U.S. National Committee for the International Astronomical Union, and the International Space Year Planning Committee.

Gen. (Ret.) James E. Cartwright
Center for Strategic and International Studies

JAMES E. CARTWRIGHT (USMC, retired) is the Harold Brown Chair in Defense Policy Studies for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Unique among Marines, General Cartwright served as commander of U.S. Strategic Command before being nominated and appointed as the eighth vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s second-highest military officer. During his 4-year tenure as vice chairman, across two presidential administrations and constant military operations against diverse and evolving enemies, General Cartwright became widely recognized for his technical acumen, vision of future national security concepts, and keen ability to integrate systems, organizations, and people in ways that encourage creativity and spark innovation in the areas of strategic deterrence, nuclear proliferation, missile defense, cybersecurity, and adaptive acquisition processes. General Cartwright graduated with distinction from the Air Command and Staff College, received an M.A. in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, completed a fellowship with MIT, and was honored with a Naval War College Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award.

Dr. Mary L. Dittmar
Dittmar Associates, Inc.

MARY LYNNE DITTMAR is president and senior consultant of Dittmar Associates, Inc., an engineering and consulting firm in Houston, Texas. Previously, Dr. Dittmar managed International Space Station Mission Operations and Spaceflight Training for the Boeing Company and later served as Boeing’s chief scientist and senior manager for their Commercial Space Payloads Program. More recently she has served as an executive consultant for a variety of aerospace companies and for NASA. She specializes in models for public/private partnerships, commercialization, strategic planning, strategic communications, and organizational alignment and development. Dr. Dittmar is published in a variety of fields and is the author of The Market Study for Space Exploration, a groundbreaking demographic analysis of American attitudes toward NASA and human spaceflight. She has written a number of papers on the space economy and on the impact of regulatory frameworks on emerging sectors such as the commercial spaceflight industry. She is a member of the FAA COMSTAC Space Operations Working Group and holds a number of industry and academic awards. Dr. Dittmar earned a Ph.D. in human factors from the University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Pascale Ehrenfreund
The George Washington University

PASCALE EHRENFREUND is research professor of space policy and international affairs at the Space Policy Institute of George Washington University. During the past 15 years Dr. Ehrenfreund has contributed as principal investigator, co-investigator and team leader to experiments in low Earth orbit and on the International Space Station, as well as to various ESA and NASA space missions, including astronomy and planetary missions. She is a lead investigator with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, a virtual institute that integrates research and training programs, and her research experience and interests range from biology to astrophysics. Dr. Ehrenfreund serves as the project scientist of NASA’s O/OREOs satellite, the first mission of the NASA Astrobiology Small Payload program currently in orbit. She has served on several committees dealing with space strategy issues, including the European Space Science Committee, ESA’s Life and Physical Science Advisory Committee, and ESA’s Life Science Working Group . Since 2010, she chairs the Panel on Exploration of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) that supports space exploration activities, cooperative efforts, and capacity building. She is the vice president of the European Astrobiology Network Association and a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics. Since 2011 she has been a member of the Space Advisory Group of the European Commission. Dr. Ehrenfreund has authored and co-authored more than 270 publications and edited 12 books. In the area of space policy, her interest is dedicated to international space cooperation. Dr. Ehrenfreund holds a master’s degree in molecular biology from the University of Vienna (Austria), a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University Paris VII/University Vienna (Austria), a Habilitation in astrochemistry from the University of Vienna, and a master’s in management and leadership from Webster University (Netherlands). Recently she served on the NRC Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life and on the steering committee of the 2011 decadal survey on planetary science.

Dr. James S. Jackson
University of Michigan

JAMES S. JACKSON (IOM) is the director and research professor of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. He is also the Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, a professor of health behavior and health education in the School of Public Health, and a professor of Afroamerican and African studies. He is past director of the Program for Research on Black Americans and the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies. His research focuses on issues of racial and ethnic influences on life course development, attitude change, reciprocity, social support, and coping and health among blacks in the diaspora. He is past chair of the Section on Social, Economic, and Political Sciences of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is a former national president of the Black Students Psychological Association, the Association of Black Psychologists, and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. He served on the councils of the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging. He is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, the American Psychological Association, the Association of Psychological Sciences, AAAS, and the W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. He received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Career Contributions to Research Award of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award for Distinguished Career Contributions in Applied Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and the Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Biomedical Sciences of the New York Academy of Medicine. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Jackson earned a Ph.D. in social psychology from Wayne State University. He is currently a member of the NRC Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences and has served as a member of the Committee on International Collaborations in Social and Behavioral Research, the Committee to Study the National Needs for Biomedical, Behavioral, and Clinical Research Personnel, and the Committee on U.S. Competitiveness: Underrepresented Groups and the Expansion of the Science and Engineering Workforce Pipeline.

Mr. Andrew Kohut
Pew Research Center

ANDREW KOHUT is the president of the Pew Research Center, in Washington, D.C. He is also a former president of the Gallup Organization and a founder of the Princeton Survey Research Associates. He is a frequent commentator on public opinion for National Public Radio, the Newshour, and other news media outlets and has written widely on the subject for leading newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals. He is a frequent op-ed essayist for The New York Times and has served as a public opinion consultant and analyst for National Public Radio during recent national elections. Mr. Kohut was president of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (1994-1995), president of the National Council on Public Polls (2000-2001), and is a member of the Market Research Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. He has co-authored four books, including America Against the World and The Diminishing Divide: Religion’s Changing Role in American Politics. Mr. Kohut received the first Innovators Award from American Association of Public Opinion Research for founding the Pew Research Center. He also was given the New York AAPOR Chapter award for Outstanding Contribution to Opinion Research. He was awarded the 2005 American Association of Public Opinion Research’s highest honor, the Award for Exceptionally Distinguished Achievement. In 2009, Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters. Most recently, he was awarded the American Political Science Association’s 2010 Carey McWilliams Award to Honor a Major Journalistic Contribution to the Understanding of Politics. Mr. Kohut received an A.B. degree from Seton Hall University in 1964 and studied graduate sociology at Rutgers, the State University, from 1964 to 1966.

Dr. Franklin D. Martin
Martin Consulting, Inc.

FRANKLIN D. MARTIN is president of Martin Consulting, Inc. His interests include independent review services for NASA spaceflight projects. Over the past decade, he has taught nearly 100 team development workshops for organizations and flight projects across NASA while working as a subcontractor to 4-D Systems. He has more than 40 years of experience with space science, space systems, engineering, and management. His experience covers robotic, remote sensing, and human spaceflight. His career with NASA and Lockheed Martin includes the following: Science Mission Operations for Apollo 16 and Apollo 17; director, Solar Terrestrial and Astrophysics at NASA Headquarters; director for Space and Earth Science, Goddard Space Flight Center; NASA deputy associate administrator, Space Station; NASA assistant administrator, Human Exploration; and director of Space Systems and Engineering in Civil Space for Lockheed Martin, with responsibility for the Hubble Servicing Missions, Space Infrared Telescope Facility (Spitzer), Lunar Prospector, and the Relativity Mission (Gravity Probe-B). Dr. Martin also served as assistant editor of Geophysical Research Letters and worked as a physicist with the Naval Oceanographic Office. He resigned from NASA in 1990 at senior executive service (SES) Level ES-6 and retired from Lockheed Martin in 2001. He currently serves on the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts External Council for the NASA Chief Technologist Office. Dr. Martin received NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal, an Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the SES Presidential Ranks of Meritorious Executive and Distinguished Executive. He is a fellow of the American Astronautical Society (AAS).
He earned a B.A. with majors in physics and in mathematics from Pfeiffer College (aka Pfeiffer University) and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Martin has served as a member of the NRC Committee on Human Spaceflight Crew Operations, the Committee on NASA’s Suborbital Research Capabilities, and the Committee on Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System.

Dr. David C. Mowery
University of California, Berkeley

DAVID C. MOWERY is the William A. and Betty H. Hasler Professor of New Enterprise Development (Emeritus) at the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Dr. Mowery’s research interests include the impact of technological change on economic growth and employment, the management of technological change, and international and U.S. trade policy. His academic awards include the Raymond Vernon Prize from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, the Economic History Association’s Fritz Redlich Prize, the Business History Review’s Newcomen Prize, the Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Distinguished Scholar award from the Academy of Management. He received his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees in economics from Stanford University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Business School. Dr. Mowery has served on several NRC committees, including as vice chair of the Committee on Competitiveness and Workforce Needs of United States Industry and as a member of the Committee to Review the National Nanotechnology Initiative and the Committee to Assess the Capacity of the U.S. Engineering Research Enterprise.

Mr. Bryan D. O’Connor
Independent Consultant

BRYAN D. O’CONNOR is an independent aerospace consultant and former Marine pilot and NASA senior executive. He previously served as NASA’s chief of the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance where he led an extensive restructure of system safety, reliability, quality, and risk management organizations throughout the agency in response to the findings of the Columbia Mishap Investigation Board. He was previously director of engineering for the Futron Corporation, providing system safety engineering and risk management consulting to the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NASA, and industry. Prior to that, he was the director of the Space Shuttle Program. Mr. O’Connor served as a Marine Corps test pilot and as pilot of the STS-61B Space Shuttle mission and as commander of the STS-40 mission. He also served in a variety of RDT&E functions in support of the first test flights of the space shuttle. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Naval Test Pilot School Distinguished Graduate Award, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety’s Jerome Lederer Space Safety Pioneer Award. He currently serves on NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, which directly observes NASA operations and evaluates and advises NASA on its safety performance; the Panel submits an annual report to Congress and to the NASA Administrator. Mr. O’Connor earned an M.S. in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida. He previously served as chair of the NRC Committee on Space Shuttle Upgrades.

Dr. Stanley Presser
University of Maryland, College Park

STANLEY PRESSER is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland where he teaches in the Sociology Department and the Joint Program in Survey Methodology. His research interests include questionnaire design and testing, the accuracy of survey responses, and the nature and consequences of survey nonresponse. Dr. Presser is a past president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, a fellow of the American Statistical Association, and a recipient of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for a career of outstanding contributions to methodology in sociology. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Presser has served as a member of the NRC Committee to Review the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Survey Programs and the NRC Panel to Review USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey, and he currently serves as a member of the NRC Panel on Measuring Civic Engagement and Social Cohesion to Inform Policy.

Dr. Helen R. Quinn
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

HELEN R. QUINN (NAS) is a professor of particle physics and astrophysics (emeritus) at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and co-chair of Stanford University’s K12 Initiative. Dr. Quinn is a theoretical physicist who holds numerous honors for her research contributions, including the prestigious Dirac (Italy) and Klein (Sweden) medals. She has had a long-term engagement in education issues and has worked at the local, state, and national level on them. Her interests range from science curriculum and standards to the preparation and continuing education of science teachers. She is a member and former president of the American Physical Society. She received her Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. She currently chairs the NRC Board on Science Education and serves as a member of the Committee on a Framework for Assessment of Science Proficiency in K-12. She has also chaired the NRC Committee on Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards and served as a member of the Committee on Physics of the Universe; the Astro 2010 decadal Survey and many other NRC committees.

Dr. Asif A. Siddiqi
Fordham University

ASIF A. SIDDIQI is an associate professor of history at Fordham University. He specializes in the history of modern science and technology and has authored numerous books and articles on the history of spaceflight. His book Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race, 1945-1974, published by NASA in 2000, was the first major work on the history of the Soviet space program and was based on evidence revealed after the end of the Cold War. The Wall Street Journal named it one of the five best books published on space exploration. His writings extend beyond the Russian/Soviet space program to such topics as Asian space initiatives, military space research, and the historiography of American space exploration. His most recent book, The Red Rockets’ Glare: Spaceflight and the Soviet Imagination, 1857-1957, focused on the cultural roots of space enthusiasm in Russia and was published in 2010. He has served as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was one of the co-authors of The Future of Human Spaceflight, a report presented to members of Congress and NASA. In 2013-2014, Dr. Siddiqi will serve as the Charles A. Lindbergh Fellow in aerospace history at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Dr. Siddiqi has a B.S. and M.S. in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. in history from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. John C. Sommerer
Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory

JOHN C. SOMMERER is director of space sector at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Applied Physics Laboratory where he is responsible for the planning and execution of all space exploration and applications conducted for NASA and DOD, including the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the New Horizons mission to Pluto, the recently launched Radiation Belt Storm Probes, Solar Probe Plus, and the MDA Precision Tracking Space System. Previously, he was APL’s director of science and technology, where he was responsible for planning its overall research program as well as for its contributions to JHU’s academic and research programs. Dr. Sommerer has made internationally recognized theoretical and experimental contributions to the fields of nonlinear dynamics and complex systems. He has served on several technical advisory bodies for the U.S. government, and has served as a special government employee as a member, vice chair, and chair of the Naval Research Advisory Committee, reporting to the Secretary of the Navy. In 2011, Dr. Sommerer was elected to the International Academy of Astronautics and named an inaugural Daniel Coit Gilman scholar by JHU, designating him as one of the foremost thought leaders in the university. He was an advisor to the Howard County, Maryland, new business incubator, NeoTech, during its formation, and he served as a director of the Jim Rouse Entrepreneurial Fund. Dr. Sommerer earned a B.S. in systems science and mathematics from Washington University, an M.S. in applied physics from JHU, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland. He has served on several NRC committees, including as chair of the Panel on Survivability and Lethality Analysis-2007 and as a member of the Committee on Operational Science and Technology Options for Defeating Improvised Explosive Devices, the Committee on Assessment of NASA Laboratory Capabilities, and the Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board.

Dr. Roger Tourangeau
Westat, Inc.

ROGER TOURANGEAU is a vice president and associate director at Westat, Inc., one of the largest survey firms in the United States. Before joining Westat, he was research professor at the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center and the director of the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland. He has been a survey methodologist for nearly 30 years. Dr. Tourangeau is an author on more than 60 research articles, mostly on survey methods topics. He is also the lead author of a new book on web survey design (Web Surveys) with Fred Conrad and Mick Couper. His earlier book, The Psychology of Survey Response, with Lance Rips and Kenneth Rasinski, received the 2006 Book Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research. He was elected as a fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1999. Dr. Tourangeau has a Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University. He currently serves on the NRC Committee on National Statistics and has previously served as chair of the Panel on Research Agenda for the Future of Social Science Data Collection.

Ms. Ariel Waldman

ARIEL WALDMAN is the founder of, a directory of ways to participate in space exploration, and is the global instigator of Science Hack Day, an event that brings together scientists, technologists, designers, and people with good ideas to see what they can create in one weekend. Ms. Waldman is also an interaction designer, a research affiliate at the Institute for the Future, and an advisor for the SETI Institute’s radio show Big Picture Science. Previously, she worked at NASA’s CoLab program, whose mission was to connect communities inside and outside NASA to collaborate. Ms. Waldman has also been a sci-fi movie gadget columnist for Engadget and a digital anthropologist at VML. She has keynoted O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention and DARPA’s 100 Year Starship Symposium, appeared on the SyFy channel, and regularly gives talks to a variety of global audiences. In 2008, she was named one of the top 50 most influential individuals in Silicon Valley. Ms. Waldman earned a B.S. from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in graphic design.