Advisory Council – 50 year mission

by Chris Bergin

NASA’s newly restructured Advisory Council is holding its inaugural meeting in Washington DC, as it discuss the challenges facing the agency for the next 50 years.

Comprising of 24 members – taken from key space, military and civilian positions throughout the United States – the Council is discussing all aspects of immediate and future challenges facing NASA, from the safe Return to Flight of the Shuttle fleet, to manned exploration of the solar system.

Two men who have already left the confines of Earth’s orbit are on the council, with former Senator and Apollo astronaut Harrison H. ‘Jack’ Schmitt chairing – and former Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to step foot on the Moon – joining as an expert on the panel.
‘I am looking forward to working closely with NASA Administrator Michael Griffin and NASA senior management as they address the exciting challenges facing the agency as it prepares for its next 50 years,’ Schmitt said.

‘These challenges include returning the space shuttle safely to flight, completing the International Space Station, developing a new crew exploration vehicle and returning humans to the surface of the moon and then on to Mars.’

Other key names listed are Gen. Lester L. Lyles, USAF (Ret.), former commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and Dr. Charles F. Kennel, director, Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
The complex task of implementing President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) brought back the requirement of guidance from the Council – which has a number of previously-chartered standing committees are incorporated, as NASA aims to bring together a mix of experts to help advise on viable options to achieve the goals of exploration. 

The NASA Advisory Council will include subject matter experts in five key areas: exploration, science, aeronautics, human capital, and audit and finance, and also include three ex-officio members from the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, and the Institute of Medicine.

Senator Schmitt will be joined on the NASA Advisory Council by the following distinguished experts:

–Lt. Gen. James A. Abrahamson, USAF (Ret.) Aerospace Consultant

–Dr. Juan J. Alonso, Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics Stanford University

–Neil Armstrong Apollo 11 Astronaut

–Dr. Raymond S. Colladay, Chair Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, National Research Council

–Dr. Lennard A. Fisk, Chair Space Studies Board, National Research Council

–Robert M. Hanisee Trust Company of the West

–Capt. Frederick H. Hauck, USN (Ret.) Former Space Shuttle Astronaut

–Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., Director Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington

–Hon. Kay Coles James, Consultant Former Director, Office of Personnel Management

–Dr. Stephen I. Katz, Director National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases National Institutes of Health

–Dr. Charles F. Kennel, Director Scripps Institute of Oceanography

–Dr. Gerald L. Kulcinski, Associate Dean, Research University of Wisconsin-Madison

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