Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

National disagreement over NASA's goals and objectives detrimental to agency planning

Date:
December 5, 2012
Source:
National Academy of Sciences
Summary:
Without a national consensus on strategic goals and objectives for NASA, the agency cannot be expected to establish or work toward achieving long-term priorities, says a new report.

Without a national consensus on strategic goals and objectives for NASA, the agency cannot be expected to establish or work toward achieving long-term priorities, says a new report from the National Research Council.In addition, there is a mismatch between the portfolio of programs and activities assigned to the agency and the budget allocated by Congress, and legislative restrictions inhibit NASA from more efficiently managing its personnel and infrastructure.The White House should take the lead in forging a new consensus on NASA's future in order to more closely align the agency's budget and objectives and remove restrictions impeding NASA's efficient operations.

"A current stated interim goal of NASA's human spaceflight program is to visit an asteroid by 2025," said Albert Carnesale, chancellor emeritus and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who chaired the committee that wrote the report."However, we've seen limited evidence that this has been widely accepted as a compelling destination by NASA's own work force, by the nation as a whole, or by the international community.The lack of national consensus on NASA's most publicly visible human spaceflight goal along with budget uncertainty has undermined the agency's ability to guide program planning and allocate funding."

The committee that authored the report was not asked to offer views on what NASA's goals, objectives, and strategy should be; rather it was tasked with recommending how these goals, objectives, and strategies might best be established and communicated.

The report recommends establishing a national consensus on NASA's future with the executive branch taking the lead after technical consultations with potential international partners. The strategic goals and objectives chosen should be ambitious yet technically rational and should focus on the long term, the report says.

To reduce the discrepancy between the overall size of NASA's budget and its current portfolio of missions, facilities, and personnel, the report says, the White House, Congress, and NASA, as appropriate, could pursue any or all of the following four options:

  • Institute an aggressive restructuring program to reduce infrastructure and personnel costs and improve efficiency;
  • Engage in and commit for the long term to more cost-sharing partnerships with other U.S. government agencies, private sector industries, and international partners;
  • Increase the size of the NASA budget;
  • Reduce considerably the size and scope of elements of NASA's current program portfolio to better fit the current and anticipated budget profile.

Regardless of the approach or approaches selected, the report recognizes that eliminating the mismatch will be difficult.

Because future human spaceflight or large-scale Earth and space science projects will likely involve multiple nations, the U.S. should explore international approaches to such projects, the report says.To do so, the U.S. must have a program that other countries want to participate in and must be willing to give substantial responsibility to its partners.The U.S. must also demonstrate its reliability and attractiveness as an international partner.

Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18248


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Academy of Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Academy of Sciences. "National disagreement over NASA's goals and objectives detrimental to agency planning." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205132407.htm>.
National Academy of Sciences. (2012, December 5). National disagreement over NASA's goals and objectives detrimental to agency planning. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205132407.htm
National Academy of Sciences. "National disagreement over NASA's goals and objectives detrimental to agency planning." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205132407.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

Air Force: $4.2B Saved from Grounding A-10s

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) Speaking about the future of the United States Air Force, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh says the choice to divest the A-10 fleet was logical and least impactful. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) The B612 Foundation says asteroids strike Earth much more often than previously thought, and are hoping to build an early warning system. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins