Daniels co-chairs committee on future of U.S. human spaceflight; report receives global media attention

June 5, 2014  

A report co-led by Purdue University President Mitch Daniels on the future of U.S. human spaceflight is making headlines worldwide after its release Wednesday (June 4) morning in Washington, D.C.

Daniels co-chairs the National Research Council's Committee on Human Spaceflight. The committee's report, "Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration," is intended to examine the goals of the U.S. human spaceflight program and offer recommendations for a sustainable program moving forward.

Daniels shared his thoughts in interviews with the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and Houston Chronicle, among others. The report was carried by approximately 90 media outlets around the world.

The Houston Chronicle reports that co-chairs Daniels and Cornell University astronomer Jonathan Lunine said they hoped to send a clear message to President Obama and Congress about NASA's human spaceflight program, principally that it needs a clear goal and funding to achieve those goals.

Daniels said it is time for the nation to have a discussion about what the space program will do next and to realize the great expense and technical challenge of flying beyond low-Earth orbit to the moon and Mars.

Daniels leads a university that has a rich tradition in the U.S. space program. Purdue has had 23 graduates become astronauts, including the late Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, and Eugene Cernan, the most recent person to walk on the moon. Purdue graduates flew on Gemini and Apollo flights, 47 space shuttle missions and on the International Space Station.

Among media covering the report were:

New report: NASA Mars goal is not viable
Houston Chronicle

Report says Mars missions achievable, but at what cost?
CBS News

NRC human spaceflight report says NASA strategy can't get humans to Mars
Washington Post

Mars or bust, says new report on NASA human space exploration
Los Angeles Times

Report: Mars mission is unaffordable now, but necessary
USA Today

Human space program review recommends U.S. focus on Mars

Mission to Mars? What U.S. panel says needs to be done, now
Christian Science Monitor

Report: Mars mission requires disciplined, well-funded approach
Florida Today

SpaceX president says life at risk without space travel
Bloomberg News

U.S. panel sets sights on Mars: Sending humans to red planet touted as NASA's wisest long-range goal

U.S. needs to reexamine NASA's China exclusion policy
China Daily

Report: NASA should take us to Mars, but not in a jalopy
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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