Aldridge Commission

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The President's Commission on Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy, also known as the "Moon to Mars" commission, headed by Edward C. "Pete" Aldridge, met during the first half of 2004 to solicit public input and to analyze the steps needed to implement the vision for the future of the space program stated by President Bush in his January 14, 2004 speech.

Commission members were:

The commission's June 2004 report included the following recommendations:

  • Formation of a Permanent Space Exploration Steering Council
  • NASA's relationship to the private sector must be transformed to
    • recognize a far larger presence of private industry in space operations
    • have NASA itself become more focused and integrated, with clear authority and accountability
    • reconfigure NASA centers as Federally Funded R and D centers to enable innovation and stimulate economic development
    • create a technical advisory board, a cost estimating organization, and a high risk/high payoff research and technology organization
    • adopt proven personnel and management reforms
  • Form special project teams on enabling technologies
  • NASA reach broadly into commercial and nonprofit communities to bring in the best ideas and technologies
  • Congress increase the potential for commercial opportunities with incentives for entrepreneurial investment in space, including prizes and property rights
  • pursue international partnerships that encourage global investment
  • NASA seek routine input from the scientific community
  • NASA engage with the National Academy of Sciences on science priorities
  • use of discovery-based criteria for selecting destinations beyond the Moon and Mars, including access to in-situ space resources
  • measures to stimulate educational and general public interest

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