MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has revamped the NASA Advisory Council (NAC), adding four new committees, including a commercial space committee led by Brett Alexander, the executive director of the Washington-based Commercial Spaceflight Federation.


“Just who are these energetic, ambitious and sometimes starry-eyed people who want to free NASA from the job of providing reliable transportation to low-Earth Orbit and let us focus on jobs only NASA can do, trying to get to other places in the solar system?” Bolden asked Oct. 29 at the NAC meeting at the NASA Ames Research Center here.


The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is an industry association that represents the interests of some 20 dues-paying corporate members, several of which have NASA contracts.


Bolden also asked retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Al Edmonds to oversee a committee to help the space agency manage its information technology and associated infrastructure. Edmunds, former director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, will advise NASA on cyber security issues. 


In addition, Bolden created a committee to focus on public outreach and education, chaired by Miles O’Brien, former CNN anchor and space correspondent, as well as a technology and innovation panel led by Esther Dyson, an information technology investor and space travel enthusiast. 


Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...