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Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NASA's Strategic Direction

View Report: NASA's Strategic Direction and the Need for a National Consensus

This project is being led by the Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences 

Statement of Task

The National Research Council will appoint an ad-hoc committee to assess whether the strategic direction of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as defined by the 2011 NASA strategic plan, remains viable and whether the agency's activities and organization efficiently and effectively support that direction in light of the potential for constrained budgets for the foreseeable future. In particular the committee will:

1. Consider the strategic direction of the agency as set forth most recently in 2011 NASA Strategic Plan and other relevant statements of space policy issued by the President of the United States.

2. Consider the goals for the agency set forth in the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (as amended) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Acts of 2005, 2008 and 2010.

3. Consider previous studies and reports relevant to this task.

4. Assess the relevance of NASA's strategic direction and goals to achieving national priorities.

5. Assess the viability of NASA's strategic direction and goals in the context of current budget expectations and stated programmatic priorities for the agency.

6. Discuss the appropriateness of the budgetary balance between NASA's various programs;

7. Examine NASA's organizational structure and identify changes that could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Agency's mission activities; and

8. Recommend how NASA could establish and effectively communicate a common, unifying vision for NASA's strategic direction that encompasses NASA's varied missions.

Any recommendations made by the committee will be predicated on the assumption that NASA's out year budget profile will be constrained due to continuing deficit reduction. 

Public Outreach

The Strategic Directions Committee is listening to a wide variety of experts in aeronautics and space science and technology, space policy and programs, and communications strategy, and it wants to hear from other stakeholders, including the public, as well. The committee invited your responses to the seven questions listed in our public input form. This site was available for comments through August 17, 2012. Submitted comments are viewable to the public.


May 1-2, 2012
Washington, DC         

June 25-27, 2012
Washington, DC
View Presentations

July 26-27, 2012
Washington, DC
View Presentations

August 6-7, 2012
Irvine, CA
View Presentations

September 20-21, 2012
Washington, DC


2012 May Strategic directions photo b mtg 12012 may strategic directions photo a mtg 1

Committee, staff and speakers at the first meeting, held in May 2012.

More images from June meeting and site visits.


Committee Membership

Dr. Albert Carnesale - (Chair)
University of California, Los Angeles

Mr. Joseph S. Hezir
EOP Group, Inc.

Dr. Ronald M. Sega - (Vice Chair)
Colorado State University Research Foundation

Dr. Ann R. Karagozian
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Mark R. Abbott
Oregon State University

Dr. Mark J. Lewis
University of Maryland, College Park

 Dr. Jacques E. Blamont
Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES)

Ms. Marcia S. Smith
Space and Technology Policy Group, LLC

Dr. John C. Brock
Northrop Grumman (Retired)

 Prof. Michael S. Turner
The University of Chicago

Capt. Robert L. Crippen (USN, ret)
Thiokol Propulsion [Retired]

Dr. Warren M. Washington
National Center for Atmospheric Research

View Committee member bios


Dwayne Day
Senior Program Officer, Study Director

Amanda Thibault
Research Associate

David Smith
Senior Program Officer

Linda Walker
Senior Program Assistant

Alan Angleman
Senior Program Officer

Michael Moloney
ASEB & SSB Board Director


View Available Presentations


June 2012

Linda Billings  
Lori Garver 
Gregory Kulacki 
Roger Launius 
Jaiwon Shin 

July 2012 


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