Worthy of a Great Nation? NASA's New Direction


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  • With only 3 more flights left for the Space Shuttle, a major policy change is coming NASA’s way. In February of this year, President Obama announced what he thinks this change should be. And, in the words of Congressman Bart Gordon, the plan, “…represents a radical change from the current approach to human space flight.” This report aims to highlight the changes President Obama wishes to make, the state of NASA’s current work, how the new plan came about and what its ultimate end point may be. The highlights of the fiscal year 2011 budget request for NASA include canceling the entire Constellation program put forth by the Bush administration, extending the International Space Station (or ISS) to 2020, and confirming, as I mentioned, the Space Shuttle’s retirement later this year. Also included is increased funding for technology development, financial support the commercial space flight industry and, finally, continued support of educational programs and the creation of the Summer of Innovation program. On April 15, President Obama visited Kennedy Space Center and made some minor changes to the proposed policy. Throughout this presentation, I will go into further detail on each of these points to provide a better understanding of what each entails. I think the best way to approach this complicated policy is to start with where NASA is today.
  • What is NASA’s current program and where did it come from? In 2004, President Bush announced his Vision for Space Exploration. It was a grand vision with plans for ultimately getting US astronauts to Mars. It called for the retirement of the ISS by 2016 and the space shuttle by 2010, to free up some funds. It also established what looks to be becoming a vitally important program called Commercial Orbital Transportation Services or COTS. This is a competition-based program to award commercial space ventures with funding. Its intention is to help these companies develop vehicles that can deliver people and cargo to the ISS. The funding is based on milestone achievements set forth by NASA. The announcement also created the Constellation program. This program was very reminiscent of the Apollo program in that it involved the creation of Saturn V-like rockets, an Apollo-like capsule and a lunar lander. The first manned mission was to be in 2014 with a return to the Moon by 2020. The overall goal of the program was to use the experience of living and working on the Moon for a future Mars mission.
  • So what is the Constellation program exactly? The program involves designing and building two rockets. One called the Ares I which is capable of low Earth orbit or what the space shuttle does today. It would primarily be used for the same functions as the shuttle--to ferry astronauts and supplies to ISS and to repair or launch satellites. The Ares V rocket is a more substantial piece of machinery able to lift astronauts and satellites beyond low Earth orbit. At the present time, both rockets are still in development. Ares I had a successful test flight in October 2009 but the flight was primarily to test the stage separations and so was not a final development test flight. The Ares V rocket is still in development and,because of similar components, is dependent on the Ares I being built and tested first. Orion is the capsule for the supplies and crew. The capsule was originally planned to hold 6 crew and is now potentially going to have 4 crew because of it being too heavy for Ares to lift. Numerous changes have caused Orion to go over budget and over schedule since extensive redesigns are needed for each alteration. The Altair lander, the vehicle that would actually land on the Moon’s surface, is only in a planning stage. Due to budget restrictions, the Altair design & build has not been funded at all.
  • In the 2004 vision, the goals exceed the money allocated for them as evidenced by the lack of funding for the Altair lander. It has created a system where NASA can either create this new flight system or explore but it must choose one, the money just isn’t there to do both. Cost overruns and missed schedules have plagued areas of the program like in the case of the Orion capsule. And with the Ares V development dependent on technology from Ares I, it makes the Moon missions even further in the future. The plan also underuses the ISS. It took 25 years to plan and build the ISS and if it is decommisioned in 2016, it will only have had 5 years of full use. Finally, this plan is heavily focused on reaching specific destinations and while it does mention Mars as the overall goal it does not explain adequately our reasons for exploration in space. Clearly some changes in goals were needed.
  • In 2008, the Government Accountability Office identified 13 urgent issues needing the attention of the Obama administration and the 111th Congress in their first year of office. Included in the list was the retirement of the shuttle and the gap in U.S. human spaceflight between the shuttle and the start of the Constellation program. In response to this, the White House office of Science and Technology Policy called for a review of human spaceflight. President Obama then asked the NASA administrator to appoint a committee, which was called the Review of United States Human Spaceflight Plans Committee. This committee was charged with producing options for human space flight in order to make it, “…safe, innovative, affordable and sustainable.” In other words, they were tasked with acting as honest brokers of policy.
  • The assembled committee consisted of 10 members and became known as the Augustine Committee after its leader, Norman Augustine, a retired Lockheed Martin chairman. The rest of the members included engineers, astronauts, educators, aerospace executives and a retired Air Force general. They met for 180 days and did studies, site visits and public question and answer sessions. In October 2009, they produced a report titled Seeking a Human Spaceflight Program Worthy of a Great Nation which details the state of the current program and suggests numerous options for its continuation or change.
  • Over the course of its research, the committee considered each option’s ability to effectively run continuously, the costs involved, and its scientific value. They also considered the commercial spaceflight industry, its readiness for flight, and its ability to succeed. The gap in U.S. spaceflight and its effect on the international standing of the U.S. was also considered. And exploration, safety, the effect on NASA’s workforce numbers and expertise, and the public’s interest in the space program were also top priorities. To help them identify the most pressing issues facing the future of the space program, the committee formulated these questions: What should be the future of the Space Shuttle? What should be the future of the ISS? On what should the next heavy-lift launch vehicle be based? How should crews be carried to low Earth orbit? What is the most practicable strategy for exploration beyond low Earth orbit
  • Question 1: What should be the future of the space shuttle? As I mentioned earlier in this presentation, both the 2004 vision and the Obama Administration’s plan have called for the retirement of the space shuttle in 2010. The committee proposed this as an option with the caveat that if it is chosen, then it is essential that it be funded adequately. Retiring the shuttle, however, leaves U.S. supplies and astronauts with no ride to the ISS. As a way to solve this problem, the plan is to buy seats from the Russian space program at a price of $51 million per seat. The shuttle is currently bringing up extra supplies to ISS in anticipation of its retirement. To further complicate matters, the US is also responsible for transporting astronauts from Canada, Japan, and the European Space Agency to ISS. The committee does mention the use of Russian spacecraft to ferry astronauts, but offers no opinion on this option. It is of great concern, however, to Congress in terms of U.S. international standing. The committee also discussed the option of continuing the shuttle. Only limited missions could be flown due to safety concerns. This scenario appears to be highly unlikely as the retirement of the shuttle is still scheduled for this year and Congress has not discussed this as an option in the budget hearings. .
  • Question 2: What should be the future of the ISS? The committee seems to abandon their honest broker of policy duties in favor of becoming issue advocates when it comes to this issue.They do discuss the option of retiring the ISS in 2016 but mention how it has only been used for 5 years and this does not give the best return on the investment made. Additionally, they mention how the full research potential of the ISS has not yet been realized. As such, the committee recommends continuing the ISS to 2020. They also cite the international cooperation fostered by the ISS as its greatest achievement and to abandon it now would leave the countries that wish to continue it with no option but to let it be decommissioned. The reason for this is purely financial since the funds from the U.S. are needed to keep the ISS running.
  • Question 3: On what should the next heavy-lift launch vehicle be based? A heavy-lift vehicle is one capable of lifting a very large amount of payload. For example, the space shuttle is considered a heavy-lift vehicle because it is capable of carrying 65,000 lbs of payload into space. To answer this question, the committee identified three basic routes that could serve as the template for the next set of rockets. The first route identified was the NASA-heritage vehicles which includes the Ares rockets of the Constellation program. The committee also put forth under this option the creation of an Ares V lite vehicle. Under this option, NASA would scrub the Ares I in favor of making only the Ares V lite. The Ares V lite uses some of the same technology developed for Ares I so the research done to this point can be applied to its production. It would also require NASA to only build one vehicle as the Ares V lite is capable of both low earth orbit and going beyond low earth orbit. The reason it is called the Ares dual lite is that each mission will require two of them. One would carry the crew in the Orion and the other would carry the Altair lander. The second option is using something called EELV-heritage vehicles. Examples of these rockets are the Delta and Atlas which are currently used to launch satellites especially for the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. At present, the rockets are not human-rated to carry crew so they would have to be altered. The last option put forth by the committee was to create a vehicle that more closely resembles the space shuttle design.
  • Question 4: How should crews be carried to low Earth orbit? Beyond the immediate future, how do we get our astronauts into low Earth orbit? The committee suggested three options to answer this question. The first is using some form of the Ares rocket whether it be the Ares I or the Ares V lite. The next option is to use the Delta/Atlas rockets. The third option is to use commercial carriers. Two of the leading contenders for the commercial industry are SpaceX and Orbital Sciences. In the next two slides I will go into detail about each company and their qualifications and relationship to NASA.
  • SpaceX is involved in the COTS program established under the 2004 Vision for their vehicle development. In 2008, they were awarded a contract from NASA through the CRS or Commercial Resupply Services program. In this contract, SpaceX will launch 12 missions to ferry supplies to the ISS. The missions are slated to begin in 2012. As far as rocketry goes, SpaceX has a family of rockets called Falcon. The Falcon 9 rocket, a medium-lift rocket is currently on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral and is slated to launch in May. After the Falcon 9 launch, SpaceX is expected to test the the Falcon 9 heavy-lift rocket. This rocket is the one that will carry the Dragon capsule, which will be what carries supplies to the ISS. The Dragon capsule is designed to be converted to a human-rated vehicle and will be capable of carrying 7 crew or passengers.
  • Orbital Sciences is another company receiving assistance from NASA through the COTS program for the Taurus II rocket. They have also been awarded a CRS contract to do 8 supply missions to ISS beginning in 2012. Orbital Sciences has an extensive flight history of launching satellites--they have flown 55 successful missions since 1990. The Taurus II rocket, which is under development, is scheduled to fly in 2011. Their capsule is called Cygnus and will be for supplies only. I could find no indication in my research that there are plans to human-rate the Cygnus capsule.
  • Question 5: What is the most practicable strategy for exploration beyond low Earth orbit? For this question, the committee focused in on a few strategies: going to the moon first above any other destination, a flexible path of exploration, and Mars first. The flexible path means that exploration is open to a number of different points. The potential destinations under the flexible path are asteroids, spent comets, Lagrange points, the moons of Mars, and Mars and the Moon. A Lagrange point is a point in space where the gravitational pull of two large bodies cancel each other out, resulting in a spot that a spacecraft can visit and stay put. To give you an idea of how far the Lagrange points are, the nearest one is four times further than the Earth is to the moon. This plan also calls for the use of robotics in deep space. For example, if there were astronauts orbiting Mars, then they could send a robotic probe to the planet but yet be able to control the probe from the spacecraft. The plan allows for flexibility in that if signs of life or water or useable resources are found in the universe then we are not tied into exploration of a specific destination by a certain date. Instead, the plan could be altered to further study in an area of significant discovery. Finally, the flexible path, like the moon first option, allows for the moon to be a practice point for future missions. It would act as the test subject for constructing a station and for the effects on humans of months of living and working in space. Mars first was also identified by the committee as an option but was quickly dismissed. The committee felt that NASA could not go to Mars first without extensive experience living and working in deep space. They also felt by leaving Mars as the ultimate destination that it would give time for the technology to catch up with the needs of a Mars mission. Following this discussion, the committee then came up with 5 possible scenarios. As part of their instructions, they were charged with coming up with at least two scenarios that used the existing budget money.
  • The first option using the existing budget has the following components: Retiring the space shuttle in 2010 and decommissioning ISS in 2016 The Ares I and Orion would continue in their development but would not be ready until 2017-- too late for delivery of supplies and crew to ISS. The Ares V would also continue its development and would have a delivery date of 2020. The Altair lander is unfunded and would possibly be in the 2030s, if ever. A return to the Moon would be slated for the 2020s but without the ability to develop the Altair it hardly seems worth it.
  • Option 2 using the existing budget calls for extending the ISS to 2020 with lunar exploration in the 2020s using the Ares V lite. This option adds in a technology development program. According to the committee, funding has been lacking for technology development in previous NASA budgets. They strongly encourage a return to funding technology research and its necessity in order for a future Mars mission to take place. This option also provides for competition based financial rewards for developers of commercial spacecraft. The Altair lander is still left out of the mix with no funding. So despite the development of the Ares V lite, we would still lack a means to land on the moon.
  • Option 3, the committee termed as an executable version of the program. In other words, this option uses the current program but without the specific budget already in place. This option has the shuttle retiring in 2010 and Iss de-orbiting in 2016. It continues the development of the Orion and both Ares rockets. The committee believed that the earliest date the Orion and Ares I could be ready is 2017. This option also provides for the Ares V to make its lunar trip in the 2020s. And it calls for the building of the Altair lander.
  • Option 4 has the moon as the first destination. It extends the ISS to 2020, develops the Orion capsule, Ares rockets, Altair lander and a moon base. It includes funding for technology development and uses commercial spacecraft for missions to low Earth orbit. The committee then decided to subdivide this option with more possibilities. Option 4a retires the shuttle in 2010 and develops the Ares V lite in lieu of Ares I and Ares V. Option B extends the space shuttle to 2015 with limited missions and the creation of a future rocket that is more shuttle-like.
  • The final option put forth by the committee deals with the flexible path of exploration, discussed earlier in the slides. Beyond the multiple, swappable destinations in this plan, it also calls for the retirement of the shuttle in 2010, extending ISS to 2020 and funding a technology research program. Exploration of any of these points would begin in the 2020s and the committee felt that it would be a program that has the potential to hold the public’s attention since they estimated about one of these missions launching per year. But how would we get there? The committee saw three possibilities: create the Ares V lite, use an EELV vehicle, or create a more shuttle-like rocket.
  • In the end, the committee suggested that they thought the Moon first and the flexible paths of exploration were the most realistic with our current capabilities and technologies. They also recommended encouraging the commercial space industry to develop vehicles through competition based programs. Interestingly, they did recommend that NASA continue to develop a rocket in case the commercial industry is not able to deliver a dependable one. For future moon landings, they also suggest building a smaller, commercially built lander instead of the Altair.The committee strongly suggested establishing a robust technology development program. They recommend continuing to work on the Orion and a heavy lift vehicle with the Ares V lite being a vehicle of particular interest since it only requires NASA to build one instead of two. The committee discusses the need for all programs to be funded in a realistic manner and they suggest that Congress should allow NASA to appropriate the money into the various departments and not the other way around. Finally, the Committee stresses the importance of goals and not destinations to answer the “why” question of spaceflight. Focusing on destinations, they caution, runs the risks of getting stuck there and not knowing when to move on or what the purpose is. Overall, the committee says the goal should be, “…to chart a path for human expansion into the solar system.” As a final note and of particular interest in this class is the role of the Augustine committee as honest brokers or issue advocates. They began their role as honest brokers presenting numerous possibilities but it seemed to me that eventually it broke down into issue advocacy as they moved into the realm of recommendations of particular scenarios. Their original mandate was just to choose options, not recommendations.
  • As you will notice, Obama’s plan is most similar to the flexible path put forth by the committee. It does cancel the Constellation program, confirms the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2010, and extends ISS to 2020. The plan creates a technology research program that develops an in-orbit gas station, electric-hybrid rockets, nuclear thermal rockets, inflatable spaceship parts, and methods of beaming power between Earth and space. It also invests in heavy-lift and propulsion development for the creation of efficient and cost-effective rocketry. Robotic precursor missions to any points of interest for later human exploration are key to the plan as well as the modernizing of Kennedy Space Center. It also calls for the creation of a new round of competition for the commercial space industry to both create new craft and to human-rate existing craft. Additional financial incentives for fiscal year 2011 are also built-in for the current cargo providers.
  • Exploration missions are also planned to several planets including Mars and Jupiter and to the Moon. Additional funding is provided for studies of the sun. Climate change research and the production of greener forms of flight are also on the agenda. NASA is involved in research for the NextGen program which is a program that will change air traffic control from a land-based system to a satellite-based system. NASA’s research includes 4D trajectories, figuring out how to safely increase the amount of aircraft traffic flying closer together, weather prediction, and the development of low noise and emission aircraft that are fuel efficient. Finally, the budget allows for the continuation of education programs and launches the Summer of Innovation program. It is intended for middle school teachers and students to encourage students to pursue careers in STEM fields. The program contains NASA-based content and culminates in an end of summer national competition. The program has been designed to track participant’s performace and its effect on their interest in a STEM career.
  • In response to heavy criticism from Congress, the President held a meeting at Kennedy space center on April 15th. He made some minor concessions to the plan but mostly it stayed the same. In his speech, he outlined that a decision on a heavy-lift vehicle would be made by 2015 and then building would begin. By 2025, the spacecraft will be ready to bring astronauts to an asteroid. This would then be followed in the 2030s by an orbit around Mars and a future landing. In the meantime, the President has revived the Orion capsule which will be assembled and sent to the ISS as an emergency escape vehicle. The Orion capsule, when unmanned, does not require a heavy-lift vehicle and so would be able to be launched to the ISS on existing rocketry. The president says his plan will create 2,500 jobs especially in the project to modernize kennedy space center and in the commercial industry. He has also proposed investing $40 million to come up with a job creation plan for the up to 9,000 workers who will lose their jobs when the shuttle is retired. An estimated 14,000 jobs in related industries, including contractors and Florida-based businesses will also be lost.
  • In Congressional hearings, the chief areas of agreement are on extending the ISS and retiring the shuttle. Otherwise, the plan has been monumentally unpopular in Congress. Of particular concern is the budget’s reliance on commercial companies for low Earth orbit and the potential for it to make these companies too important to fail. Congress was also concerned about the readiness of the commercial industry to take over regular low Earth orbit spaceflight. Charles Bolden, Administrator of NASA responded by saying, “Every shuttle is a commercial vehicle built by a commercial vendor…” Also pointed out was that $9 billion has been invested in the Constellation program thus far and another 2.5 billion would be required to close out the contracts. Administrator Bolden defends the Obama budget by saying it is not a complete loss and NASA will be able to use research from the program for future rocket development. Congress argued that NASA functions better with defined goals and worried over the U.S. standing in the international community and especially US competitiveness with China. And also with sensitive intelligence satellites in space, they were concerned about how we would be able to repair those satellites if we have no means to fly to them. Senator Nelson commented that there are three vital issues with this budget: workforce reduction, the need to make sure there are multiple companies competing for contracts, and safety. Senator Vitter claimed the plan does not relate to the Augustine committee’s recommendations and he believes it would end human spaceflight for the US.
  • Congress also expressed concern about the ability for this new program to inspire the next generation. In the words of Congressman Fudge, “ this program fails to inspire the future generation of scientists and astronauts, something that is so critical at this point in American history when we are talking about the need for more students to be excited about careers in STEM fields.” In response to this, Administrator Bolden talked about the education initatives and how research and the possibilities of the future could inspire the next generation. This is a particularly relevant point because much of NASA’s workforce is nearing retirement age and as the number of students in engineering and mathematics declines, the talent pool for NASA could also decline. Representatives broached the subject of creating the Ares V light. Representative Wolf requested in a letter to administrator Bolden that they come up with additional options for Congress to consider, in other words, a plan B. Bolden, though, refused to discuss the possibility of a plan B and answered that there is none. Administrator Bolden was given 30 days to respond to the letter so an answer to this is still forthcoming.
  • According to Huntley, Bock and Weingartner, the space program has been “Lacking...what might best be termed ‘realistic visions’--that is, a set of integrated ideas about possibilities cast against the background of varying constraints, tradeoffs, and uncertainties. Without such reflection, policy making is driven by extant knowledge, current political forces and short-term objectives.” I think this states well some of the problems that have plagued NASA’s policies. I agree with the Augustine committee that NASA should focus on goals and not just destinations. With each new administration, new policies are made and NASA suffers from constant overhauls of its mission. I think it is a step in the right direction with the flexible path to exploration but it needs to be a long term goal not just until the next Administration takes over. I do think there will be a compromise especially in terms of the rocketry. Some have argued against the readiness of the commercial industry to take over low earth orbit missions but I think this will be approved since it frees NASA up to pursue and pay for other ventures. The biggest area of compromise will be whether NASA scrubs the entire Constellation program or goes with the Ares 5 lite. In the second Congressional hearing mentioned, the Ares 5 lite did get discussed quite often so again, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that this is the scenario chosen. This is not the first time we have had a gap in spaceflight so I think the international standing of the U.S. will remain but the science of NASA must be solid and it must stay on track with its new mission. As of now, there has been no vote yet in Congress but I’m sure the coming weeks will include more hearings on the subject. It will be fascinating to watch as NASA enters a new phase of exploration.
  • Worthy of a Great Nation? NASA's New Direction

    1. 1. Worthy of a Great Nation? NASA’s New Direction Mary Haley SUNY Buffalo LAI 531 Science Curricula
    2. 2. Obama Administration Original Plan <ul><li>In February 2010, President Obama put forth a new plan for NASA </li></ul><ul><li>Highlights of the FY 2011 plan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cancels Constellation program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extends International Space Station (ISS) to 2020 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confirms Space Shuttle retirement in 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heavily invests in R&D </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourages/supports commercial space flight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishes the Summer of Innovation education program </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Minor changes announced on April 15, 2010 </li></ul>
    3. 3. NASA’s Current Program <ul><li>President Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration 2004 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Return to Moon with Mars as ultimate goal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retire ISS in 2016 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retire Space Shuttle by 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Established COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creation of Constellation program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Uses funds from Shuttle and ISS programs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Manned mission by 2014 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Return to Moon by 2020 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use Moon experience for future Mars mission </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Constellation Program <ul><li>Ares I and V rockets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ares I—low Earth orbit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ares V—beyond low Earth orbit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current development state </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Orion capsule </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current development state </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost/schedule overruns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Altair Lander </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current development state </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>funding </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Issues with 2004 Vision <ul><li>Goals exceed budget </li></ul><ul><li>NASA has funds to create new system or explore, but not both </li></ul><ul><li>Missed schedules and cost overruns </li></ul><ul><li>Orion redesigns </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot develop Ares V until Ares I complete </li></ul><ul><li>Underuses ISS capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on destinations, not overall goals </li></ul>
    6. 6. Obama Administration and New Policy Choices <ul><li>According to GAO (Government Accountability Office), space exploration was a top priority for new administration </li></ul><ul><li>White House Office of Science and Technology Policy called for a review of human spaceflight </li></ul><ul><li>Administration recommended formation of Review of United States Human Spaceflight Plans committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chosen by NASA administrator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Honest brokers of policy </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Review Committee <ul><li>Known as Augustine Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Produced report titled Seeking a Human Spaceflight Program Worthy of a Great Nation (Oct. 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>About the committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time-frame </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Augustine Committee Research <ul><li>What did the committee consider? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Program sustainability, cost, international standing, workforce effect, commercial transport, scientific value, exploration, safety, and public engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formulated 5 questions: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What should be the future of the Space Shuttle? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What should be the future of the ISS? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On what should the next heavy-lift launch vehicle be based? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How should crews be carried to low Earth orbit? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What is the most practicable strategy for exploration beyond low Earth orbit? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Question 1: What should be the future of the Space Shuttle? <ul><li>Retire shuttle in 2010 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fund it adequately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seats on Russian spacecraft </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Continuation of shuttle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited missions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Safety concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly unlikely scenario </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Question 2: What should be the future of the ISS? <ul><li>Recommend ISS to continue to 2020 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Investment returns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>25 years of development and 5 years of use under 2004 Vision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Full research capability not yet realized </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>International relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most important benefit as cited by the committee </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Needs US funds </li></ul></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Question 3: On what should the next heavy lift launch vehicle be based? <ul><li>NASA- heritage vehicle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ares I with Ares V </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ares V dual-lite </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EELV-heritage super heavy-lift vehicle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EELV=evolved expendable launch vehicle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delta and Atlas rockets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used for DOD, intelligence, weather, science experiments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Shuttle-derived vehicle </li></ul>
    12. 12. Question 4: How should crews be carried to low Earth orbit? <ul><li>International Partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Russia to ferry astronauts for $51 million per seat </li></ul></ul><ul><li>U.S. government systems </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ares rocket & NASA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Delta/Atlas rockets </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Carriers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SpaceX & Orbital Sciences </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Commercial Spacecraft SpaceX <ul><li>COTS Award/CRS (Commercial Resupply Svcs) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>12 missions to ferry supplies to ISS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Falcon 9 rocket to launch in May 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Falcon 9 heavy-lift in development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dragon capsule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Slated to fly after test of Falcon 9 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Will be used for ISS supply missions w/ later human rating </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>7 passenger capsule </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Commercial Spacecraft Orbital Sciences <ul><li>COTS Award </li></ul><ul><ul><li>contracted for 8 supply missions to ISS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extensive flight history </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flown 55 missions since 1990 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taurus II to fly in 2011 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cygnus spacecraft </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Supplies only </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Question 5: What is the most practicable strategy for exploration beyond low Earth orbit? <ul><li>Moon first </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible Path to asteroids, spent comets, Lagrange points, moons of Mars, and Mars/Moon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Robotics in deep space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study for signs of life, water, and resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moon as practice point </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why not Mars first? </li></ul><ul><li>Committee’s 5 possible options </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First two options required to use existing budget </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Option 1 Existing Budget <ul><li>Retire shuttle in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Decommission ISS in 2016 </li></ul><ul><li>Ares I/Orion not ready for ISS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2017 delivery date </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ares V late in 2020 </li></ul><ul><li>Altair in 2030s? </li></ul><ul><li>Moon return in 2020s but no lander </li></ul>
    17. 17. Option 2 Existing Budget <ul><li>Retire Space Shuttle 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Extends ISS to 2020 </li></ul><ul><li>Lunar exploration with Ares V lite </li></ul><ul><li>Technology development program </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage commercial programs to low Earth orbit </li></ul><ul><li>No heavy lift rocket until 2020s </li></ul><ul><li>No lunar lander (Altair) </li></ul>
    18. 18. Option 3 Executable Version of Program <ul><li>Budget different, program the same </li></ul><ul><li>Retire shuttle in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>De-orbit ISS in 2016 </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Orion, Ares I and Ares V </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2017 earliest date for Orion/Ares I </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lunar return in 2020s </li></ul><ul><li>Build Altair lander </li></ul>
    19. 19. Option 4 Moon First <ul><li>Extend ISS to 2020 </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Orion, Ares I and V, Altair and Lunar surface systems </li></ul><ul><li>Fund technology program </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial vehicles to low Earth orbit (2016) </li></ul><ul><li>Lunar return 2020s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Option 4A </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Retire shuttle 2010 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop Ares V lite—one for Altair and one for Orion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Option 4B </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extend shuttle to 2015 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Heavy-lift design more shuttle like </li></ul></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Option 5 Flexible Path <ul><li>Explore asteroids, spent comets, Moon, Mars orbit, Mars moons, Lagrange points </li></ul><ul><li>Retire Shuttle in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Extend ISS to 2020 </li></ul><ul><li>Fund technology program </li></ul><ul><li>Exploration to begin in 2020s </li></ul><ul><li>Public engagement--one event per year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Option 5a </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ares V lite </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Option 5b </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EELV-heritage commercial heavy-lift launcher </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Option 5c </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shuttle derived heavy-lift launcher </li></ul></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Committee Recommendations <ul><li>Moon first and flexible options most viable </li></ul><ul><li>NASA to encourage commercial space industry through competition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop backup rocket in case of failure to deliver </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moon landing options </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fund technology development </li></ul><ul><li>Continue development on Orion and heavy-lift vehicle </li></ul><ul><li>Congress to appropriate funds but then allow for administrator to allocate as necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Should focus on goals and not destination </li></ul><ul><li>Issue advocates? </li></ul>
    22. 22. Obama Administration Original Plan <ul><li>Most similar to flexible path </li></ul><ul><li>Cancel all of Constellation program </li></ul><ul><li>Retire Space Shuttle 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Extend ISS to 2020 </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in technology development </li></ul><ul><li>Robotic precursor missions to points of exploration </li></ul><ul><li>Modernize Kennedy Space Center </li></ul><ul><li>Create new competition to grow commercial space industry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>developing new craft and human-rating existing vehicles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>additional incentives to current domestic cargo providers (FY 2011) </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Obama Administration Plan <ul><li>Planetary Science and Heliophysics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Several planetary missions including those to the moon, Mars, Jupiter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Several studies of the sun and its outer reaches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Climate Change research and green aviation </li></ul><ul><li>NextGen research </li></ul><ul><li>Education initiatives and the Summer of Innovation program </li></ul>
    24. 24. Changes to President Obama’s Plan <ul><li>Decision on new heavy-lift vehicle by 2015 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Development of spacecraft by 2025 for beyond LEO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send astronauts to an asteroid first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mid 2030s orbit Mars with later landing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Orion capsule to be sent to ISS as emergency escape </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to add 2500 more jobs </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>commercial industry, KSC modernization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>$40 million for job creation plan </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>KSC to lose around 9,000 jobs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>14,000 jobs lost in related industries </li></ul></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Congressional Hearings <ul><li>Hearings on February 25 and March 23 for Congress </li></ul><ul><li>Hearing on February 24 for Senate </li></ul><ul><li>Will budget make commercial companies too important to fail? </li></ul><ul><li>Is commercial industry ready? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bolden, “Every shuttle is a commercial vehicle built by a commercial vendor…” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>$9 billion invested in Constellation </li></ul><ul><li>Competition and international standing </li></ul><ul><li>Defense/classified materials concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction in workforce and safety </li></ul>
    26. 26. Congressional Hearings <ul><li>Rep. Fudge, “…fails to inspire the future generation of scientists and astronauts, something that is so critical at this point in American history when we are talking about the need for more students to be excited about careers in STEM fields.” </li></ul><ul><li>Rep. Wolf requested an alternative in a letter to General Bolden—compromise? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>30 days to respond </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bolden says no Plan B </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. Possible Outcomes <ul><li>Compromise a strong possibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible path using Atlas V lite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low Earth orbit to commercial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on exploration, not destination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High uncertainty about international standing, the future of space travel in the United States </li></ul><ul><li>No vote yet on budget and direction of NASA </li></ul>
    28. 28. References <ul><li>Achenbach, Joel. “NASA Budget for 2011 Eliminates Funds for Manned Lunar Missions.” The Washington Post . Web. 1 February 2010. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.washingtonpost .com/ wp - dyn /content/article/2010/01/31/AR2010013101058.html? nav = emailpage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Borenstein, Seth. “For NASA No Easy Answer for Next Space Destination.” U.S. News & World Report . Web. 23 February 2010. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.usnews .com/science/articles/2010/02/23/for- nasa -no-easy-answer-for-next-space-destination.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dowd, Alan W. “Surrendering Outer Space.” Policy Review 156 (Aug/Sept 2009): 55-66. </li></ul><ul><li>Huntley, Wade L., Bock, Joseph G., and Weingartner, Miranda. “Planning the Unplannable: Scenarios on the future of Space.” Space Policy 26 (2010): 25-38. </li></ul><ul><li>Loston, Adena Williams, Steffen, Peggy L., and McGee, Steven. “NASA Education: Using Inquiry in the Classroom so that Students See Learning in a Whole New Light.” Jrnl of Science Education & Technology 14:2 (June 2005): 147-156 </li></ul><ul><li>NASA.“NASA Supports the President’s Educate to Innovate Campaign with Summer of Innovation to Bring Students the Universe.” NASA , 2010. Web. 6 January 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.nasa.gov/topics/nasalife/summer_of_innovation.html. </li></ul><ul><li>NASA. “President Bush Offers New Vision for NASA.” NASA , 2004. Web. 14 January 2004 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http:// www. nasa . gov /missions/ solarsystem /bush_vision.html . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NASA. “NASA & the Next Generation Air Transportation System (Nextgen ).” NASA , 2007. Web 6 June 2007 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.aeronautics.nasa . gov /docs/ nextgen _ whitepaper _06_26_07. pdf </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NASA. “Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Estimates.” NASA , 2010. Web. 1 February 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>http://www. nasa . gov / pdf /420990main_FY_201_%20Budget_Overview_1_Feb_2010. pdf </li></ul>
    29. 29. References <ul><li>NASA. “Home on Lagrange.” NASA, 2004. Web. 18 February 2004. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solarsystem/f-lagrange.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee. “ Seeking a Human Spaceflight Program Worthy of a Great Nation .” 22 October 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/396093main_HSF_Cmte_FinalReport.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Sadeh, Eligar. “Space Policy Challenges Facing the Barack Obama Administration.” Space Policy 25 (2009): 109-116. </li></ul><ul><li>Shiga, David. “NASA’s at the Crossroads, Tryin’ to Flag a Ride.” New Scientist 202.2705 (2009): 6-7. </li></ul><ul><li>United States. House of Representatives. Science and Technology Committee. Representative Bart Gordon Holds a Hearing on the NASA Budget Request . FDCH Political Transcripts. Washington: 25 February 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>United States. House of Representatives. Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justics, Science and Related Agencies. Representative Alan B. Mollohan Holds a Hearing on the NASA Budget Overview . FDCH Political Transcripts. Washington: 23 March 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>United States Senate. Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Senator Jay Rockefeller Holds a Hearing on the NASA budget . FDCH Political Transcripts. Washington: 24 February 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>White House Office of the Press Secretary. “President Barack Obama on Space Exploration in the 21st Century.” National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2010. Web. 15 April 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/trans/obama_ksc_trans.html </li></ul>