The National Research Council will appoint an ad hoc committee to assess whether the strategic direction of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as defined by the 2011 NASA strategic plan, remains viable and whether the agency’s activities and organization efficiently and effectively support that direction in light of the potential for constrained budgets for the foreseeable future. In particular the committee will:
1. Consider the strategic direction of the agency as set forth most recently in 2011 NASA Strategic Plan and other relevant statements of space policy issued by the President of the United States.
2. Consider the goals for the agency set forth in the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (as amended) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Acts of 2005, 2008 and 2010.
3. Consider previous studies and reports relevant to this task.
4. Assess the relevance of NASA’s strategic direction and goals to achieving national priorities.
5. Assess the viability of NASA’s strategic direction and goals in the context of current budget expectations and stated programmatic priorities for the agency.
6. Discuss the appropriateness of the budgetary balance between NASA’s various programs;
7. Examine NASA’s organizational structure and identify changes that could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Agency’s mission activities; and
8. Recommend how NASA could establish and effectively communicate a common, unifying vision for NASA’s strategic direction that encompasses NASA’s varied missions.
Any recommendations made by the committee will be predicated on the assumption that NASA’s out-year budget profile will be constrained due to continuing deficit reduction.