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Offer Some Advice on NASA’s Future, While Someone’s Listening

U. S. astronauts hover close to an asteroid in this NASA illustration


NASA was directed by Congress to re-assess its future, as part of the agency’s 2012 appropriations bill. The task, which must be completed soon, was assigned to the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academies.

The National Academies serve as a Congressional think tank.

Congress was motivated by the prospect for future spending constraints to deal with the growing federal deficit.

As part of the task, the NRC is seeking public response to nine specific questions about the future of space exploration and NASA.

They address budget, program direction including human versus robotic exploration and international collaboration.

The response period is open through Aug. 17.

Meanwhile, a panel of NRC experts is combing through NASA’s founding  1958  legislation, dozens of past reports on NASA priorities and interviewing many of the men and women who have advanced the agency’s objectives in the past.

NASA's Gene Cernan, the last man on the moon, salutes the American flag during the Apollo 17 mission of 1972. Photo Credit/NASA

Here’s a primer from on the project with a  link to the on-line questionnaire.

Answers are limited to 300 words.

The NRC’s report is slated for release late this year.






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