Commission on Moon, Mars, and Beyond

The Commission’s charter is as follows:

To provide recommendations to the President on implementation of the vision outlined in the President’s policy statement entitled: “A Renewed Spirit of Discovery” and the President’s Budget Submission for Fiscal Year 2005.

To advise NASA on the long-term implementation of the President’s vision, specifically with regard to:

  • A sustained and affordable human and robotic program to explore the solar system and beyond
  • Extended human presence across the solar system beginning with a return to the Moon before the year 2020
  • Innovative technologies, knowledge and infrastructures to explore and support decisions about the destinations for human exploration
  • International and commercial participation in space exploration to promote scientific, security, and economic interests

3 thoughts on “Commission on Moon, Mars, and Beyond”

  1. Don’t forget that Carly Fiorina of Hewlett Packard said, “There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore.” While this may be the case, I don’t really believe this is the kind of attitude that I want attached to this project, which will be funded by American tax dollars.

    I also wonder about why she was chosen to be attached to the project at all since she is simply the “chop” person that was brought in to cut the company down to size. Maybe NASA is next?


  2. So far they seem to be focusing on the question of “how do we sustain this” as a vision for NASA through future congresses and presidents. Nobody has a good answer yet – engaging the public somehow seems to be a central theme. But I was surprised when somebody (one of the NASA people) made the statement that (paraphrasing) “nobody is interested in a program that just goes to the Moon and uses lunar resources to make things, it’s deep space that people care about”.

    A lot of talk about how the Mars rovers have people excited about space. But I think Zubrin said it best in the debate with Bob Park last week:

    Yeah, look, there are different tools for different jobs? And some jobs require robots or can best be done with robots, some jobs can best be done with people. If you want to image a planet from orbit, you don’t need people to do that.
    if you were to send humans, human Mars mission, they’re on Mars for a year and a half. […] So you’re bringing back 300 times the mass, selected out of 3,000 times the mass of samples from a much wider array of locations, and all sorts of other things that could be done to augment their scientific value.

    So, I would say that the idea of doing the sample return campaign with robots is sort of taking a tool that we have now, namely robotic exploration, and applying it to a problem where it is no longer cost effective compared to humans.

  3. The NY Times paints a reasonably positive picture of the work of the panel so far. It was an interesting hearing yesterday – Augustine’s testimony in particular, invoking the recommendations of 14 years ago they had, which were never implemented, and now seem extraodinarily prescient.

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