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Appendix A * Dear Dr. Press: *I ~ THE VICE PRESIDENT * ~ * WASHI NGTON December 4, 1989 As you know, President Bush charted a bold new course for the U.S. space program when he proposed on July 20, 1989, a long- range, continuing commitment to manned exploration -- first, to complete Space Station Freedom, to return permanently to the Moon, and then explore the planet Mars. At that time he also asked me, as Chairman, to lead the National Space Council in determining the necessary resources and timetables, and the feasibility of international cooperation for meeting these goals. I i l '=~= -I-;= -- =~.~.~.~= '-h-es~ ~°~?~Y ~c~'les cot. assess alternative approaches, and build the consensus necessary to proceed. The National Research Council represents a vital national resource in this process and I would like to solicit your help. To respond to the President's tasking, the Council now has several analyses underway. The key ones are, first, an assessment of the approaches that might be taken to the program design, and how the variables of technology development, schedule, and cost can shape that design. The second is an assessment of the approaches to international cooperation -- what types of participation might be invited by the U.S. government, and what the implications of each type might be. Lastly, the Council will assess approaches to management -- what types of structures and functions will be required to manage this complex, long-term program. A NASA team, led by Johnson Space Center Director Aaron Cohen, has submitted a report to NASA Administrator Richard Truly which was commissioned by Admiral Truly after the President's July 2O speech. Its purpose is to provide a database for the Space ~v'-;~-i~ ~.v -eat TO RS it considers strategic pinning ssues. prong other things, the NASA report describes rive notional mission approaches to the MoonlMars Initiative. The five approaches are not exhaustive, but rather a starting point for future studies and analyses. They do not represent decision options for the President, but rather reference cases. The Space Council intends to examine the approaches described in the report, as well as a range of robust technical alternatives and approaches to mission planning. At a recent Space Council meeting, it was agreed that a review of the NASA report by the National Research Council would be most valuable. 53
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54 APPENDIX A It would be most helpful if, in its review' the National Research Council addressed the following questions. In considering these questions, we encourage your consideration of alternative approaches and other options, or range of options, for the human exploration concept. NASA will continue to seek alternative approaches to this initiative; we would appreciate National Research Council assistance in examining them as they become available. Scope of the Report, 1. Does the report address the widest possible range of technically credible approaches to meeting the President's exploration goals? If not, what additional areas warrant exploration? 2. Over the course of the next thirty yea-=, milch technical progress will be made. What are the likely areas for technical breakthroughs relevant to space exploration? Has the report fully taken these into account? 3. Is the range of science goals and objectives commensurate with the proposed technical capability? Does the report distinguish between critical or enabling science and complementary science? 4. Are there implications (infrastructure- institutional/other national interest) that have not been considered? Content, 1. What are the report's technical assumptions? Are they reasonable? 2. Are there innovative uses of existing technology which the report has overlooked? 3. Are the cost estimates and schedule assumptions reasonable? Are there alternate ways which the schedule might be moved forward to provide visible, near-term accomplishments? Similarly, are there alternate routes which could dramatically increase performance, lower costs, move th.= overall scl-!~du12 f^~.d, Gt- i^~=C-: .- is'-? If _^,, what levels of programmatic and technical risk COG their rave' 4. Are the overall approaches/archiCectures described in the report reasonable? For example, are the key elements of NASA's plan consistent? i.e. availability of the Space Station, heavy lift vehicles, etc.? To meet our schedule of deliberations on the initiative, it would be useful to have your responses by February 28, 1990
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APPENDIX A 55 I expect that this review will be only the first of many interactions with the National Research Council on the various aspects of the initiative. I understand that both the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board have begun to examine the general question of manned space exploration. In addition, the Committee on Space Policy looked into management issues in their 1988 report. Further reviews in this area may be warranted over the next year. Clearly these will be continuing studies. Any comments you might have on the NASA concept will of course be understood to not represent a position of the National Research Council or its Boards on the value of or Administration approach to space exploration. sinfully ? ,'. D' Quail ; Dr. Frank Press, Chairman National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418
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56 OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN' NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCI L 2101 CONST - T10~' A`?Nl'E ~'.~Hi~CTO~, D. C ~18 The Honorable Dan Quayle Vice President of the United States Office of the Vice President of the United States Old Executive Office Building Washington, DC 20501 Dear Mr. Vice President: APPENDIX A December 26, 1989 The National Research Council is pleased to accept your request that it undertake a review of the NASA "Report of the 90- Day Study on Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars." We are working hard to fill your need to have our report by February 28th; and have already made considerable progress in constituting the committee. The Governing Board of the National Research Council, as well as those to be directly involved in the task, understand its importance and complexity, and the inherent limitations imposed by a very demanding schedule. In that light, while we look forward to performing this task, we concur wholeheartedly with your letter, which notes that this study is necessary 1 V A circumscribed examination of the general question of human space exploration, that this study is only the first of what must be a larger examination of the question, and that, therefore, this initial work should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the NRC of any particular approaches to human space exploration. Our review will comment on the technological feasibility of the options provided in the report, and will to the extent possible consider alternative approaches. The latter will again be limited by the time and information available to us, and therefore our consideration of alternative approaches cannot be inclusive. Of course, in the final analysis, the nation'= program in human exploration, including the applicable technology, will be shaped by concern about the health of the crew on long space missions and by its purposes, of which a fundamental one is scientific exploration. This latter purpose accords with the goal of the U.S. civil space program "to expand knowledge of the Earth, its environment, the solar system, and the universe. The logistics of the mission cannot be uncoupled from those scientific purposes. Therefore, we are in complete agreement with your injunction that examination of a program of human space exploration must consider whether the range of scientific goals
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APPENDIX A The Honorable Dan Quayle Vice President of the United States December 26, 1989 Page 2 57 and objectives is commensurate with the proposed technical capability. Indeed, the institution already has underway explicit examinations of the scientific issues associated with human space exploration. We will be pleased to keep you apprised of this work as it proceeds. Again, we are pleased to accept this task and are most appreciative of your confidence in the work of this institution. Yours sincere: , '.''c'4~~~/'i! ;/ Frank Press Chairman be: Robert M. White Joann Clayton David Bodde Myron Uman Richard Hart Dean Kastel Louis Lanzerotti
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