The U.S. human spaceflight program appears to be on an unsustainable trajectory. It isperpetuating the perilous practice of pursuing goals that do not match allocated resources. Spaceoperations are among the most complex and unforgiving pursuits ever undertaken by humans. Itreally is rocket science. Space operations become all the more difficult when means do not matchaspirations. Such is the case today.The nation is facing important decisions on the future of human spaceflight. Will we leavethe close proximity of low-Earth orbit, where astronauts have circled since 1972, and explore thesolar system, charting a path for the eventual expansion of human civilization into space? If so,how will we ensure that our exploration delivers the greatest benefit to the nation? Can we explorewith reasonable assurances of human safety? And, can the nation marshal the resources to embarkon the mission?
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The Augustine Report
SUMMARY REPORT of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee