President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy
On January 27, 2004, President George W. Bush issued an Executive Order announcing the President's Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy. The Commission was identified in the media as the Aldridge Commission after its head, former Air Force Secretary Edward C. (Pete) Aldridge, Jr..
The Commission's web site www.moontomars.org/ identifies it as the President's Commission on Moon, Mars and Beyond.
In a January 30, 2004, Personnel Announcement, President Bush "announced his intention to appoint the following individuals to be Members of the Presidential Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy:
- Edward C. Aldridge, Jr., Chairman
- Carleton S. Fiorina of California
- Michael P. Jackson of Virginia
- Laurie Ann Leshin of Arizona
- Lester L. Lyles of Ohio
- Paul D. Spudis of Maryland
- Neil deGrasse Tyson of New York
- Robert Smith Walker of Pennsylvania
- Maria T. Zuber of Massachusetts
- Stephen G. Schmidt, Executive Director
Scientists on Bush's Mars-Moon Commission
Robert Roy Britt, Senior Science Editor for Space.com, wrote in his February 1, 2004, article "Prominent Business Leaders, Scientists on Bush's Mars-Moon Commission"  that
- "Carleton S. "Carly" Fiorina, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, will serve on the nine-member commission. HP has previously sponsored Disney's new SPACE ride and a robotic lunar mission by TransOrbital Inc.
- "The new team also includes prominent Mars researcher Maria Zuber of MIT, planetary scientist Paul Spudis of Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist, book author and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.
- "The Presidential Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy is to be headed by former Air Force Secretary Edward C. Aldridge, Jr., Bush had said Jan. 14 when he presented his plan for refocusing NASA's human spaceflight activities.
- "Other members of the commission: Michael P. Jackson of Virginia, Laurie Ann Leshin of Arizona, Lester L. Lyles of Ohio and Robert Smith Walker of Pennsylvania.
- "The panel will advise the White House on what sort of science agenda should be considered for the Moon and other destinations as well as what human and robotic missions should be conducted to achieve Bush's vision."
- Technology Review blogger "Jeff Foust" observes on February 11, 2004: 
- "The commission has an interesting composition. There are, as you might expect, a number of planetary scientists and policy experts. However, the commission also includes a retired general who led the Air Force Materiel Command, as well as HP CEO Carly Fiorina. Notably, the commission has no astronauts, current or former. Aldridge himself trained to fly as a payload specialist on what would have been the first military shuttle mission to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. However, that mission (as well as all shuttle missions from Vandenberg) was canceled in the wake of the 1986 Challenger accident."
Conflicts of Interest with the Aldridge Commission
Renae Merle reports in the January 30, 2004, Washington Post that "McCain Calls for Change on Space Panel. Potential Conflict Seen for Aldridge": "John McCain (R-Ariz.) said yesterday that he will ask that E.C. "Pete" Aldridge, the Pentagon's former top weapons buyer and now a Lockheed Martin Corp. board member, be removed from a presidential space commission to eliminate any potential conflict of interest."
Related SourceWatch Resources
- "space exploration": "the investigation of physical conditions in space and on stars, planets, and their moons through the use of artificial satellites (spacecraft that orbit the earth), space probes (spacecraft that pass through the solar system and that may or may not orbit another celestial body), and spacecraft with human crews." Encyclopedia.com.
Previous Space Commissions
- Pioneering the Space Frontier, the Report of the National Commission on Space, May 1986.
- Principal Recommendations of the Augustine Commission, 1990. (From the Report of the Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 1990), pp. 47-48.)
- Commission on the Future of the US Aerospace Industry, 2001.
Web Search Links
Web Sites and Weblogs
- NASA Watch. Not a NASA web site.
- SpaceToday.net web site.
- SpaceDaily.com web site.
- SpaceNow web site.
- Project Constellation weblog.
- Space Politics weblog.
Articles & Commentary
- Jim Banke, Space Agency Reorganized to Handle Bush Plan, Space.com, January 15, 2004.
- NASA Chief Cites Interest of Foreign Partners in New U.S. Space Program. Says achieving exploration goals will remain U.S.-led endeavor, Department of State, January 15, 2004.
- NASA HQ, NASA Releases Budget and Vision Details, SpaceRef, February 4, 2004.
- Announcement of First Aldridge Commission Meeting, Federal Register Online, February 5, 2004.
- Robert Roy Britt, Vision Team Meets Today: Inside Bush's Space Committee, Space.com, February 9, 2004.
- NASA Releases Budget Vision As Bush Space Plan Faces Reality, SpaceDaily, February 11, 2004.
- Aldridge commission warns on sustainability, budget, SpaceToday, February 12, 2004.
- The Aldridge Commission's US Tour, Space Politics, February 18, 2004: Next Aldrige Commission meeting dates are Dayton, OH, March 3-4; Atlanta, GA, March 24-25; San Francisco, April 15-16; and New York, May 3-4.
- Timothy R. Gaffney, Space-mission panel coming to Wright-Patterson, Dayton Daily News, February 19, 2004.