See What The Committee Is Doing

10.02.2009 - The committee has determined that another public meeting is required. See the press release for details.

09.08.2009 - A summary of the report from the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee was provided to the Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and NASA Administrator on Tuesday, September 8. The summary's text is consistent with presentations made during the committee's final public meeting on Aug. 12. The summary has been posted on this website for the public.

The full Final Report is still being prepared and will be released when complete. NASA is working with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and other representatives of the Executive Office of the President to plan the next steps leading to a decision by the President about future U.S. human space flight policy.

09.03.2009 - A Summary Report is in final preparations for transmittal to the Office of Science and Technology Policy and NASA on Tuesday, September 8, 2009.

08.27.2009 - Answers to questions submitted via the website are still being prepared. The committee has recently been focused on finishing its deliberations and writing the final report. However, work on website questions is continuing and a new posting of answers should be forthcoming soon.

08.24.2009 - The committee is at work writing the final report and completing some parametric performance calculations needed so that we can more fully address our task. The options proposed are unchanged from what was discussed in the final public session. As previously reported, a briefing was held at the White House on August 14 regarding those options. The original plan was to have a printed report ready by mid-September; however, because of the length of the report it may require an additional two weeks before final release.

08.18.2009 - The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans committee has determined that the August 24th contingency meeting will not be required and is therefore canceled. There are no plans for any more public meetings of the committee.

08.14.2009 - Today, Norm Augustine and the committee members met with OSTP and NASA senior management. It was basically a recapitulation and honing of what was presented in the public session on Wednesday, August 12. As we have advertised, this committee was governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the members took that charge seriously. OSTP/NASA got essentially what the public got on Wednesday. The next step is to prepare the final report which will add more depth and text around what was presented and decided on Wednesday, but it will contain all the same primary messages. Report availability date is TBD.

08.14.2009 - The public meeting on Wednesday went very well, albeit longer than we anticipated. The members fully discussed and deliberated on all the options under consideration for human space flight. They described and discussed the options, the financial considerations for each option, and the evaluation criteria for assessing each option. Then, they down selected the options and discussed all of the evaluation criteria applicable to each option, including scoring them."

08.11.2009 - Tomorrow (August 12) figures to be a major public meeting. If things go according to plan, we will get a presentation on the content, assumptions, and variations of the human space flight options. The options have been refined and fleshed out since last week. Then we should see the Aerospace-led analysis on the cost and schedule of the options. Next, we will hear about the evaluation criteria that will be used to assess each of the options, and then (hopefully) we will agree on the options to be forwarded to NASA/OSTP/OMB for consideration.

08.04.2009 – Last week, during the public meetings, each of the subcommittee leads presented their preliminary findings to the full team for deliberation. Those findings were developed more-or-less independently of each other. This week, the committee will attempt to integrate those findings into overall human space flight scenarios. We should see some preliminary results of that integration during tomorrow’s public meeting at the Carnegie Institute with the final results and deliberations occurring during the August 12 public meeting at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C.

07.30.2009 - Three days, three public meetings, three different cities. We are going to sleep for a few days.

07.22.2009 - The committee is currently doing fact finding and preparatory activities in Denver in anticipation of next week's public meetings. The subgroups are meeting and reviewing the results of each group's analysis to date and the full committee is receiving a few external briefings as well.

07.20.2009 - We just issued a press release that shows the detailed agenda for the public meetings in Houston, Huntsville, and Cocoa Beach. All times are approximate and subject to change, but we are going to try and stick to that schedule as much as possible. Also announced in the press release is the fact that the committee has added a sixth and final public meeting to our schedule. It will be held on August 12 in Washington DC.

07.17.2009 - If you want REALLY see what the committee is doing, please look at the updated Home page for this website. There you will see an area highlighted front and center regarding the committee subgroup activity. From there you can go to a comment feature that will allow you to provide your comments to the committee on a series of preliminary scenarios that the committee is analyzing for the future of U.S. human space flight. We strongly encourage you to use the comment feature and make you voice and opinions known to the committee on these scenarios!

07.11.2009 – The committee capped another busy week of fact-finding in California. We received several briefings from the Aerospace Corporation on the progress of the tasks the committee has requested. Also, we received a significant number of science-related briefings on topics ranging from lunar science to astronomy from Lagrange points. Regarding the website, we have enhanced the “Email a Document” feature. Some people were having trouble emailing us documents because of email compatibility issues. To address this, we added the committee’s email address so that you can simply copy and paste the address using any email program. We have received close to one hundred documents via the website and we appreciate everyone’s input.

07.06.2009 - Check out the Provide a Question & Get an Answer page of the website. We have just posted about 50 new answers to questions. Also, we recently added a "Keyword Search" feature to enable people to quickly find the question and answer for which they are looking.

07.06.2009 - The committee just updated its planned schedule of activities. See the Committee List of Events page to see the new list. We are now planning three public meetings at the end of July - one each in Houston, Huntsville, and Cape Canaveral. Those three locations are key areas for U.S. human space flight activity and the committee wanted to respect that heritage and interest.

07.01.2009 - If you were at the June 17 public meeting (or watched it on NASA TV), you heard Chairman Norm Augustine announce that the committee had organized into subgroups in order to accomplish their work. Since that time, we have received several questions about the subgroups. Thus, we have posted a graphic (pdf, 91.2kb) showing the structure and membership of the subgroups.

06.26.2009 – In case you did not notice, we just implemented a major upgrade to our website. Navigation was improved, new icons were introduced, a Facebook link was added, a bunch of photos were added to our Flickr page, and a video file of the committee’s first public meeting in Washington DC was posted. In addition, there is much new content on the “Related Documents” page and more answers to your questions on the “Provide a Question, Get an Answer” page. We hope these upgrades enhance your experience with the website. Feel free to drop us a “Comment or Suggestion” if you like.

06.26.2009 – The committee capped a busy week of travel, site visits, and fact finding sessions. There is no shortage of people/organizations who want to make input to the committee and we are busy sorting through it. Chairman Norm Augustine commented that the amount of advice, ideas, and thoughts he has received for this review has outstripped any previous committee on which he has served (and he has served on a lot). It is great to see so many people interested and engaged in our human space flight activities. One downside to all this interest is that there is no way for the committee to hear, in person, from every interested person/organization in the time available for this review. All written input is welcome though, so keep those thoughts and ideas coming.

06.20.2009 - What a week! The committee had a preparatory meeting, a public meeting, and a site visit. We also answered a couple dozen questions from the website and added a "Current Topic for Public Comment". It was all worth it though, as the committee members made significant progress, especially in their understanding of the various space transportation options and the status of the International Space Station. In the days ahead, the committee will be fact-finding on missions enabled by the space transportation options and visiting additional sites.

06.15.2009 - In case you cannot make the public meeting on June 17 in person, we have arranged for the meeting to be broadcast, live, on NASA TV. You can also view it from any internet-capable computer by using and clicking on the "Media Channel" link.

06.12.2009 - We just posted a bunch of answers to questions that were posed to the committee via this website. More answers will be posted as they are ready, and questions continue to come in.

06.10.2009 - We have had a fantastic response to the website. In just three days after the launch, we received over 100 questions via the "Ask a Question and Get an Answer" feature of the website. While this is exactly what we were hoping for, the volume of questions poses some challenges for us as we have to log them in, parse them out, write a response, review and approve the response, and then post the response to the website. The committee's goal is to attempt to answer ALL questions, but please be patient as we work through the backlog. Thanks to everyone who took the time to post a question, comment, or suggestion. Also, keep voting! The voting feature is helping us prioritize our responses.

06.05.2009 - We just posted the Statement of Task document for the review to the website. The Charter is the primary document describing the committee's scope and objectives. But, the Statement of Task has some more detail and people may be interested in that.

06.05.2009 - Another big day! The website for the Human Space Flight review just went live and was announced to the public. The website has many cool features, several of which have never been implemented on a website before. The committee's goal is to set a new standard of openness for NASA consistent with the President's call for government to operate in a participatory, collaborative and transparent manner.

06.02.09 - Leroy Chiao just released a twitter for your input. Follow Leroy Chiao, Ph.D. on Twitter @AstroDude.

06.01.2009 - Big day! Acting Administrator signs the Committee’s charter which is forwarded to Congress. The Committee now formally “exists”. NASA publishes a press release with the member names and announces June 17th as the first public meeting day for the Committee. [Press release available under Related Documents. June 17th meeting details available under Meetings].

05.30.2009 - The required 15-day comment period for Federal Register Notices is over.

05.15.2009 - The Notice appears in the Federal Register announcing NASA’s intent to establish the Committee. [Notice is available under Related Documents].

05.12.2008 - NASA submits a Federal Register Notice to the National Archives and Records Administration for publication in the Federal Register as required by FACA. NASA requests and is granted an expedited publication – first time this has happened for NASA as far as anyone can remember.

05.08.2009 - Norm Augustine leads a media event so members of the media can ask questions directly of him regarding the review. Mr. Augustine participates in this event from Germany! [Transcripts of the media event are also available under Related Documents].

05.07.2009 - Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, requests an independent review of U.S. human space flight development plans and programs in a letter to Acting Administrator Chris Scolese. Chris Scolese responds with a letter that says NASA will establish a blue ribbon committee, consistent with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) to review its human space flight plans, and that Norm Augustine has agreed to chair the committee. [Both documents are available under Related Documents of this website]