AAS Panel Explores How to Reach Consensus on Future Human Spaceflight

AAS Panel Explores How to Reach Consensus on Future Human Spaceflight

Editor’s Note:  The American Astronautical Society’s Goddard Memorial Symposium included a panel discussion on “Evolution of a Space Policy: How to Achieve Consensus.”   It was an interesting discussion that ordinarily would be summarized here, but since I was a member of the panel, such a summary, written by me, seems inappropriate.  An archived webcast is available, however.  [UPDATE March 17:  the link to the webcast has changed.  The new link is provided below.]

Aviation Week and Space Technology reporter Frank Morring moderated the panel, which was composed of:

  • Lori Garver, who served as NASA Deputy Administrator during the first term of the Obama Administration (now General Manager of the Air Line Pilots Association);
  • Chris Shank, who was a top NASA official during the George W. Bush Administration (now on the staff of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee);
  • Sandy Magnus, AIAA Executive Director and former astronaut;
  • Mary Lynne Dittmar, Executive Director of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, who was a member of the National Research Council (NRC) committee that wrote the “Pathways” report; and
  • Marcia Smith, Editor, SpacePolicyOnline.com (that’s me!), former Director of the NRC’s Space Studies Board and Aeronautics and Space Engineerig Board and former Congressional Research Service space policy specialist

Garver headed the Obama transition team for NASA before becoming Deputy Administrator and was closely involved in the policy decisions that led to cancellation of the Constellation program begun by the Bush Administration.  The interchanges between Garver and Shank during this panel discussion, which took place just months before the next presidential transition will occur, are of particular interest.

The webcast is posted on a Ustream channel for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) since GSFC livestreamed the entire AAS symposium.   Separate webcasts are there for various portions of the symposium, all of which are labeled “NASA GSFC Science and Exploration.”   Former ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden spoke on the first morning and those webcasts may also be of particular interest.

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