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VIDEO: The 2008 Space Debate w/ Walter Cunningham & Lori Garver

Apollo 7 Astronaut Walter Cunningham representing Senator McCain, and former NASA Associate Administrator Lori Garver, representing Senator Obama squared off in a Presidential Space Policy Debate back in August of 2008 at The University of Colorado.

This debate is worth a re-watch as the entire NASA human space flight program is now under review by the Obama Administration.

Obama’s 2010 budget shows a massive decrease in the  total amount of funding available through 2020 for human space exploration. Funding for exploration (2010-2020) nose dived from $108 billion to only $81.5 billion.


NASA Announces Members of Human Space Flight Review Committee

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NASA announced Monday the members of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee. They are:

- Norman Augustine (chair), retired chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corp., and former member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush

- Dr. Wanda Austin, president and CEO, The Aerospace Corp.

- Bohdan Bejmuk, chair, Constellation program Standing Review Board, and former manager of the Boeing Space Shuttle and Sea Launch programs

- Dr. Leroy Chiao, former astronaut, former International Space Station commander and engineering consultant

- Dr. Christopher Chyba, professor of Astrophysical Sciences and International Affairs, Princeton University, and member, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

- Dr. Edward Crawley, Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT and co-chair, NASA Exploration Technology Development Program Review Committee

- Jeffrey Greason, co-founder and CEO, XCOR Aerospace, and vice-chair, Personal Spaceflight Federation

- Dr. Charles Kennel, chair, National Academies Space Studies Board, and director and professor emeritus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

- Retired Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles, chair, National Academies Committee on the Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program, former Air Force vice chief of staff and former commander of the Air Force Materiel Command

- Dr. Sally Ride, former astronaut, first American woman in space, CEO of Sally Ride Science and professor emerita at the University of California, San Diego

Norman Augustine will chair the independent review of U.S. human space flight plans. During the course of the review, the panel will examine ongoing and planned NASA development activities and potential alternatives in order to present options for advancing a safe, innovative, affordable and sustainable human space flight program following the space shuttle’s retirement. The committee will present its results in time to support an administration decision on the way forward by August 2009.

“I look forward to working with the members of the committee to assist in defining the future U.S. human space flight program,” Augustine said. “The members offer a broad spectrum of professional backgrounds, and we are all committed to offering sensible proposals that will serve the White House and NASA in their deliberations.”

Dr. W. Michael Hawes is leading the NASA review team that will provide technical and analytic support to the committee. Hawes is NASA’s associate administrator for program analysis and evaluation. Philip McAlister is the executive director of the committee and the designated federal official.

The committee will hold several public meetings at different U.S. locations. The first public meeting will take place June 17, 2009. Topics on the agenda for the meeting include previous studies about U.S. human space flight; national space policy; international cooperation; evolved expendable launch vehicles; commercial human space flight capabilities; and exploration technology planning.


PHOTO: President Obama meets with General Charles Bolden

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President Barack Obama meets with General Charles Bolden, right, and White House aides earlier this week in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. The President announced May 23, 2009 his intent to nominate Bolden as Administrator of NASA.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza


President Obama taps Charles Bolden for NASA Chief

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President Barack Obama officially announced his intent to nominate  General Charles Bolden, Administrator of NASA and Lori Garver, Deputy Administrator of NASA.

The President said, “These talented individuals will help put NASA on course to boldly push the boundaries of science, aeronautics and exploration in the 21st century and ensure the long-term vibrancy of America’s space program.”

US Senator and one time Shuttle Astronaut Bill Nelson said, “When people get to know Charles Bolden you’ll see why the President picked him. He’s a patriot, a leader, and a visionary, and he understands the workings of NASA and the importance of America remaining a leader in science and technology through space exploration.


President Barack Obama calls the crew of Atlantis

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President Barack Obama talks on the telephone to the crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-125) from the Oval Office, Wednesday, May 20, 2009.  STS-125 is the final Space Shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Listen to the audio of the call (mp3)

Official White House photo by Pete Souza.


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