Further, advisory committees are used to suggest directions to take for our U.S. manned space program. However, their suggestions can be tossed aside any time at the discretion of U.S. politicians.
Is this way of developing and implementing manned space policy working? I contend it is not.
A little about recent NASA history and new administrations
When the previous NASA administrator, Michael Griffin, was in charge of NASA from 2005 to 2009, the plan was to develop the Constellation program as a replacement for the Space Shuttle program. Technologies from Apollo, Shuttle, and those learned most recently would be combined together for this new manned program.
Republican president George W. Bush (from 2001 to 2008) was in office when Griffin was appointed the head of NASA after former NASA chief Sean O'Keefe stepped down from the post.
Griffin left quickly after the Barack Obama Administration (from 2009 to the present) walked into the White House. And, with the appointment of Charles Bolden as the new NASA administrator by this new White House, the former manned space plans of the United States were also changed.
The Constellation program was scrapped. Further, we changed direction for our manned space exploration - instead of going to the Moon we are now going to Mars.
Advisory boards were used in both cases, but they were only used to suggest space policy. Their recommendations are not binding - they can be used, modified, or rejected as politicians see fit and as different politicians are elected to office.
Please read the Times Online article 'President Obama to force Nasa to scrap manned flights to Moon' for more on this switch over of NASA administrators.
However, the sitting president or the majority members of the House or Senate, select these advisory boards. This seems to bias them from day one - whether it is a bias to the right or a bias to the left.
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