Charter of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee

1. Official Designation: Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee (“The Committee”)

2. Authority: Having determined that it is in the public interest in connection with the performance of Agency duties under law, and in consultation with the U.S. General Services Administration, the NASA Administrator hereby establishes the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended, 5 U.S.C. App.

3. Scope and Objectives: The Committee shall conduct an independent review of ongoing U.S. human space flight plans and programs, as well as alternatives, to ensure the Nation is pursuing the best trajectory for the future of human space flight – one that is safe, innovative, affordable, and sustainable. The Committee should aim to identify and characterize a range of options that spans the reasonable possibilities for continuation of U.S. human space flight activities beyond retirement of the Space Shuttle. The identification and characterization of these options should address the following objectives: a) expediting a new U.S. capability to support utilization of the International Space Station (ISS); b) supporting missions to the Moon and other destinations beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO); c) stimulating commercial space flight capability; and d) fitting within the current budget profile for NASA exploration activities.

In addition to the objectives described above, the review should examine the appropriate amount of research and development and complementary robotic activities needed to make human space flight activities most productive and affordable over the long term, as well as appropriate opportunities for international collaboration. It should also evaluate what capabilities would be enabled by each of the potential architectures considered. It should evaluate options for extending ISS operations beyond 2016.

4. Description of Duties: The Committee will provide advice only.

5. Official to Whom the Committee Reports: The Committee reports to the NASA Administrator and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Executive Office of the President. The Committee will submit its report within 120 days of the first meeting of the Committee.

6. Support: The NASA Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation shall provide staff support and operating funds for the Committee.

7. Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years: The operating cost associated with supporting the Committee’s functions is estimated to be approximately $3 million, including all direct and indirect expenses. It is estimated that approximately eight full-time equivalents will be required to support the Committee.

8. Designated Federal Officer: The Executive Director of the Committee shall be appointed by the NASA Administrator and shall serve as the Designated Federal Official (DFO). The DFO must be either a full-time or a permanent part-time employee, who must call, attend, and adjourn committee meetings; approve agendas; maintain required records on costs and membership; ensure efficient operations; maintain records for availability to the public; and provide copies of committee reports to the NASA Committee Management Officer (CMO) for forwarding to the Congress.

9. Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings: The Committee shall conduct meetings as appropriate at various locations throughout the United States. Meetings shall be open to the public unless it is determined that the meeting, or a portion of the meeting, will be closed in accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act.

10. Duration: The Committee will exist for 180 days, unless earlier renewed.

11. Termination: The Committee shall terminate within 60 days after submitting its report.

12. Membership and Designation: The Committee shall consist of members to be appointed by the NASA Administrator. The Administrator shall ensure a balanced representation in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed. Each member serves at the pleasure of the Administrator. The Committee shall consist of approximately 5-10 members. It is anticipated that the members will serve as Special Government Employees for the duration of the Committee, renewable at the discretion of the NASA Administrator. The NASA Administrator shall designate the chair of the Committee.

13. Subcommittees: Subcommittees, task forces, and/or work groups may be established by NASA to conduct studies and/or fact-finding requiring an effort of limited duration. Such subcommittees, task forces and work groups will report their findings and recommendations directly to the Committee. However, if the Committee is terminated, all subcommittees, task forces and work groups will also terminate.

14. Recordkeeping: The records of the Committee, formally and informally established subcommittees, or other subgroups of the Committee, shall be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 26, Item 2, or other approved agency records disposition schedule. These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552.

15. Charter Filing Date: This charter shall become effective upon the filing of this charter with the appropriate U.S. Senate and House of Representatives oversight committees.

Christopher J. Scolese
NASA Administrator (Acting)
Dated: June 1, 2009

> View the Signed Copy of Committee Charter (pdf, 119k)