NASA Announces Members of Human Spaceflight Review Committee

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WASHINGTON — Two astronauts, a retired Air Force general and a self-taught rocket builder are among the nine people who will work with former Lockheed Martin chief executive Norm Augustine to review NASA’s human spaceflight plans this summer.

NASA announced the members of the panel Monday, a little more than three weeks after President Barack Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, ordered the review.

The White House gave the 10-member panel, formally known as the Review of U.S Human Space Flight Plans Committee, until August to identify a range of options for continuing manned spaceflight beyond the retirement of the space shuttle.

In addition to Augustine, the panelists are:

  • Wanda Austin, Aerospace Corp. president and chief executive.
  • Bohdan Bejmuk, chair of the Constellation Standing Review Board and former manager of Boeing’s Space Shuttle and Sea Launch programs.
  • Leroy Chiao, an engineering consultant and former astronaut and international space station commander.
  • Christopher Chyba, professor of astrophysical sciences and international affairs at Princeton University and a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
  • Edward Crawley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who served on the 1993 space station redesign committee.
  • Jeffrey Greason, co-founder and chief executive of XCOR Aerospace, and vice-chair, Personal Spaceflight Federation.
  • Charles Kennel, a former NASA associate administrator for Earth science and chair of the National Academies Space Studies Board. Kennel is professor emeritus and recent director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.
  • Retired Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles, chair of the National Academies Committee on the Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program and a former Air Force vice chief of staff.
  • Sally Ride, physicist and first female U.S. astronaut, now professor emerita at the University of California, San Diego.

The blue-ribbon panel will hold the first of as many as four public meetings June 17. Topics on the agenda include previous human spaceflight studies, current U.S. space policy, commercial human spaceflight capabilities, international cooperation and a discussion of the rockets developed under the U.S. Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program.

During the course of the review, the panel will examine ongoing and planned NASA development activities and potential alternatives in order to present options for advancing a safe, innovative, affordable and sustainable human spaceflight program following the space shuttle’s retirement.

Acting NASA Administrator Chris Scolese signed the charter for the committee June 1, enabling it to begin operations.

Augustine said in a June 1 NASA release that he looks forward to working with the panel members to help shape the future of U.S. human spaceflight.

“The members offer a broad spectrum of professional backgrounds, and we are all committed to offering sensible proposals that will serve the White House and NASA in their deliberations,” Augustine said.