APPENDIX

C

Relevant Recommendations of Previous Studies

STUDY OF THE MISSION OF NASA
NASA ADVISORY COUNCIL
OCTOBER 12, 1983
Recommendation

The Task Force recommends this “Mission of NASA” that rests on current statute and policy and provides a framework for NASA's activities for the next 20 to 40 years.

Mankind has acquired the ability to move within and beyond the confines of the surface and the atmosphere of Earth, creating apparently limitless opportunities for beneficial human activity. In this regard, NASA has a dual mission—in space and the atmosphere—portions of which are overlapping.

NASA's space mission is to conduct activities on behalf of the people of the United States in collaboration with other nations, to:

  • explore the solar system and study its planetary processes, including, as appropriate, those governing the Earth, for the benefit of humankind

  • pursue a program of fundamental scientific research in space to expand human knowledge

  • plan and implement space technology programs and research into the use of the environment of space in order to provide for the continued advance of the national space capability and its exploitation for public and commercial purposes

  • and, to achieve these ends, create the capability for an expanded human presence in space and develop and assure the operation of launch and space vehicles.

The Task Force believes that it is inevitable that human habitation will eventually extend beyond the confines of the Earth in many ways and on a scale far larger than is currently envisioned. Although it may not now be productive to debate the specific nature or the timing of this most dramatic of all human ventures, it is appropriate to use such a venture as a distant goal to guide our search for an understanding of the solar system and to stimulate the further advance of humankind.



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MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES APPENDIX C Relevant Recommendations of Previous Studies STUDY OF THE MISSION OF NASA NASA ADVISORY COUNCIL OCTOBER 12, 1983 Recommendation The Task Force recommends this “Mission of NASA” that rests on current statute and policy and provides a framework for NASA's activities for the next 20 to 40 years. Mankind has acquired the ability to move within and beyond the confines of the surface and the atmosphere of Earth, creating apparently limitless opportunities for beneficial human activity. In this regard, NASA has a dual mission—in space and the atmosphere—portions of which are overlapping. NASA's space mission is to conduct activities on behalf of the people of the United States in collaboration with other nations, to: explore the solar system and study its planetary processes, including, as appropriate, those governing the Earth, for the benefit of humankind pursue a program of fundamental scientific research in space to expand human knowledge plan and implement space technology programs and research into the use of the environment of space in order to provide for the continued advance of the national space capability and its exploitation for public and commercial purposes and, to achieve these ends, create the capability for an expanded human presence in space and develop and assure the operation of launch and space vehicles. The Task Force believes that it is inevitable that human habitation will eventually extend beyond the confines of the Earth in many ways and on a scale far larger than is currently envisioned. Although it may not now be productive to debate the specific nature or the timing of this most dramatic of all human ventures, it is appropriate to use such a venture as a distant goal to guide our search for an understanding of the solar system and to stimulate the further advance of humankind.

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MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES REPORT OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE FUTURE OF THE U.S. SPACE PROGRAM WASHINGTON, D.C., DECEMBER 1990 From the Executive Summary: A Balanced Space Program. It is our belief that the space science program warrants highest priority for funding. It, in our judgement, ranks above space stations, aerospace planes, manned missions to the planets, and many other major pursuits which often receive greater visibility. It is this endeavor in science that enables basic discovery and understanding, that uncovers the fundamental knowledge of our own planet to improve the quality of life for all people on Earth, and that stimulates the education of the scientists needed for the future. Science gives vision, imagination, and direction to the space program, and as such should be vigorously protected and permitted to grow, holding at or somewhat above its present fraction of NASA's budget even as the overall space budget grows. From the Principal Recommendations: Principal Recommendations Concerning Space Goals It is recommended that the United States' future civil space program consist of a balanced set of five principal elements: a science program, which enjoys highest priority within the civil space program, and is maintained at or above the current fraction of the NASA budget (Recommendations 1 and 2); a Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) focusing on environmental measurements (Recommendation 3); a Mission from Planet Earth (MFPE), with the long-term goal of human exploration of Mars, preceded by a modified Space Station which emphasizes life sciences, an exploration base on the Moon, and robotic precursors to Mars (Recommendation 4, Recommendation 5, Recommendation 6 and Recommendation 7); a significantly expanded technology development activity, closely coupled to space mission objectives, with particular attention devoted to engines (Recommendation 8); a robust space transportation system (Recommendation 9). Principal Recommendations Concerning Programs With regard to program content, it is recommended that: the strategic plan for science currently under consideration be implemented (Recommendation 2); a revitalized technology plan be prepared with strong input from the mission offices, and that it be funded (Recommendation 8); Space Station Freedom be revamped to emphasize life sciences and human space operations, and include microgravity research, as appropriate. It should be reconfigured to reduce cost and complexity; and the current 90-day time limit on redesign should be extended if a thorough reassessment is not possible in that period (Recommendation 6). Principal Recommendations Concerning Affordability It is recommended that the NASA program be structured in scope so as not to exceed a funding profile containing approximately 10 percent real growth per year throughout the remainder of the decade and then remaining at that level, including but not limited to the following actions: place the Mission from Planet Earth on a go-as-you-pay basis, i.e., tailoring the schedule to match the availability of funds (Recommendation 5).

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MANAGING THE SPACE SCIENCES Principal Recommendations Concerning Management With regard to management of the civil space program, it is recommended that: major reforms be made in the civil service regulations as they apply to specialty skills; or, if that is not possible, exemptions be granted to NASA for at least 10 percent of its employees to operate under a tailored personnel system; or, as a final alternative, that NASA begin selectively converting at least some of its centers into university affiliated Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (Recommendation 14 and Recommendation 15); NASA management review the mission of each center to consolidate and refocus centers of excellence in currently relevant fields with minimum overlap among centers (Recommendation 13). It is considered by the Committee that the internal organization of any institution should be the province of, or at the discretion of, those bearing ultimate responsibility for the performance of that institution. IMPROVING NASA'S TECHNOLOGY FOR SPACE SCIENCE REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON SPACE SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY PLANNING NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL, 1993 Summary and Recommendations The NASA Administrator [...] should act to establish a coordinating position with the clear responsibility to ensure cooperation between technology development efforts within different parts of NASA—from early research through the various stages of technology development and readiness. As NASA acts to improve its programs through the use of new or improved technologies, an emphasis should be placed on technologies with the potential to reduce end-to-end mission costs. [NASA's technology development division—the Office of Space Access and Technology (OSAT)] should bring increased rigor (including external review) to determining not only which projects should be initiated or continued, but which should be canceled. Each [science office] should endeavor to work closely with [OSAT] in order to be involved in, or cognizant of, [OSAT's] projects relevant to their technology needs. Since industry is heavily involved in the development of spacecraft and systems, and university scientists are heavily involved in the development of space instruments and sensors, [OSAT] should increase the inclusion of representatives who are external to NASA in the early evaluation of users' technology needs and goals. The [OSAT] base program projects in support of space science should be subjected to more visible external review on a regular basis. NASA should act to broaden the foundation of its research base by increasing the direct involvement of university research laboratories in the development of technology for space science. [The science offices] should consider earmarking a modest level of funding for use at OSAT on mutually agreed-upon projects. Each [science office] that has not yet done so should act to formalize technology planning responsibilities to identify, coordinate, and report relevant work within the [office].