Daniels Replaces Perry as Co-Chair of NRC Human Spaceflight Study

Daniels Replaces Perry as Co-Chair of NRC Human Spaceflight Study

Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has replaced Bill Perry as co-chair of the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) human spaceflight study.

Michael Moloney, director of the NRC’s Space Studies Board and its Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board said that Perry “made the difficult decision to step aside for personal reasons.”   A mathematician by training, Perry served as Secretary of Defense for four years under President Clinton after holding other senior defense positions, including Director of Defense Research and Engineering.  He is now at Stanford University.

Daniels is a lawyer, corporate executive, and politician.   After working for then-Senator Richard Lugar and later in the Reagan White House, he joined pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly & Co. in 1990 and rose to become Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Policy.   In 2001, he joined the George W. Bush administration as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  Four years later he was elected Governor of Indiana and served two terms, which just ended last month.   Purdue picked him to be its new President last summer, but he just assumed the position in recent weeks after completing his gubernatorial term.

The NRC appointed co-chairs for this congressionally-requested study.   The other co-chair is Cornell space scientist Jonathan Lunine.  The committee held its first public meeting in December 2012 and its report is expected to be released in 2014.   The study was requested by Congress in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.   The committee’s task is to describe the value proposition of the human spaceflight program and provide findings, rationale, prioritized recommendations and decision rules to enable and guide future U.S. human space exploration.  Its next meeting is scheduled for April 22-24 in Washington, D.C. 

The committee has a panel on Technical Feasibility which held its first meeting on Febuary 4-5.  That panel is chaired by John Sommerer, head of the space sector at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab, and he is also a member of the full committee.  The panel’s vice-chair is former NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Doug Cooke.  The panel has meetings scheduled for March 27-28, June 19-21, and October 15-16.

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