Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Louis Friedman: Augustine Committee Final Report

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

22-10-2009 18:44 CDT


Louis Friedman

Louis Friedman
by Louis Friedman

The Augustine Committee, which is reviewing the U.S. human space flight program, presented its final report (PDF, 7.7 MB) today at a NASA press conference. There were no substantial differences from their preliminary report (see also my column "World Watch" in the September/October 2009 issue of The Planetary Report). However, their recommendations were a bit more explicit.

They said the Flexible Path to Mars was a more sensible, quicker and more affordable plan to lead to the ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars, than was the current Moon landing program. They also said that the changing budget realities (a euphemism for lower budget allocations) made development of the Ares I rocket less sensible now than it was when it was first proposed. Instead, commercial launch operators should be encouraged to provide U.S. transportation to low Earth orbit, while NASA should focus on building the heavy-lift capability to get beyond Earth orbit.

These recommendations, and specifically their description of the Flexible Path, closely paralleled The Planetary Society Roadmap to Space. I think we had a positive influence on this review, and The Planetary Society proved again that a citizens' group can make a difference.

Augustine Committee Final Report

Augustine Committee Final Report
Download the full report here (PDF, 7.7 MB)

See other posts from October 2009


Or read more blog entries about:


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search


Advocate for Space!

Fifteen years ago, Society members and passionate space advocates like you helped save the Pluto mission. Now we can do the same for missions to Europa and Mars.

Join over 27,600 people who have completed their petition and consider a donation to support advocacy efforts.

Sign Our Petition

Featured Images

LightSail-B on the bench
Blue Origin New Shepard after first landing
New Shepard test flight and booster landing
Suni Williams and Doug Hurley in Crew Dragon
More Images

Featured Video

MISSIONS: Dawn In The Asteroid Belt With Marc Rayman

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!