Have your say on NASA's human-spaceflight plans

Is this any way to replace a space shuttle? The Augustine Committee will help sort that out. NASA's Ares I (left) launch vehicle would carry the Orion crew exploration vehicle into space. Ares V (right) would deliver large-scale hardware, including the lunar lander.

If you want to tune in to what President Obama's human spaceflight review committee is up to, check out the website it unveiled today.

The group carries the euphonious title: the Review of US. Human Space Flight Plans Committee. And true to the president's desire to bring government into the world of social media, the site will accept public comments via e-mail, tweets, and other on-line approaches.

Earlier this week, committee chairman Norman Augustine unveiled the names of the folks tapped for the panel. Here's the list:

-- Dr. Wanda Austin, president and CEO, The Aerospace Corp.
-- Bohdan Bejmuk, chair, Constellation program Standing Review Board, and former manager of the Boeing Space Shuttle and Sea Launch programs.
-- Dr. Leroy Chiao, former astronaut, former International Space Station commander, and engineering consultant.

-- Dr. Christopher Chyba, professor of Astrophysical Sciences and International Affairs, Princeton University, and member, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

-- Dr. Edward Crawley, Ford Professor of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-chair, National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Exploration Technology Development Program Review Committee.
-- Jeffrey Greason, co-founder and CEO, XCOR Aerospace, and vice-chair, Personal Spaceflight Federation.
-- Dr. Charles Kennel, chair, National Academies Space Studies Board, and director and professor emeritus, Scripps Institution of
Oceanography, University of California, San Diego.
-- Retired Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles, chair, National Academies Committee on the Rationale and Goals of the US Civil Space Program, former Air Force vice chief of staff, and former commander of the Air Force Materiel Command.
-- Dr. Sally Ride, former astronaut, first American woman in space, CEO of Sally Ride Science, and professor emerita at the University of California, San Diego.

To see what Dr. Augustine and Dr. Ride had to say the last time they each were asked to take a hard look at NASA's human spaceflight program, you can follow these links to the 1990 Augustine Report and the 1987 Ride Report. They should provide fodder for an interesting compare-and-contrast quiz when this latest groups finishes up its work in August.

Now, for die-hard space buffs thinking of a D.C. vacation the week after next, try taking in the committee's first public meeting. It's scheduled for June 17 from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT at the Carnegie Institution. The institution is located at 1530 P  Street NW in Washington.

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