Keith's note: Based on this message being circulated by Washington DC area Mars Society members, it would seem that the organization needs to provide some better information to its membership. The author asks "Who is Mr Augustine anyway, and why was the fellow considered a good lead for this effort?". Perhaps NASA Watch readers can fill them in on Mr. Augustine's background.
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Agreed, Tom, but while we have only 2 data points now, these guys seem to like Wednesdays for the public meetings. So I guess we shouldn't read anything into this!
From the public record of their birth, and the secondary portion of the Charter ...
In addition to the objectives described above, the review should examine the appropriate amount of research and development and complementary robotic activities needed to make human space flight activities most productive and affordable over the long term, as well as appropriate opportunities for international collaboration. It should also evaluate what capabilities would be enabled by each of the potential architectures considered. It should evaluate options for extending ISS operations beyond 2016.
it would sure seem like this activity is a serious attempt at rational planning for human space flight. That said, of course the devil is or will be in the details!
We ought to figure out who gets to talk to them at the public meeting and make our case for a real means to "summit" Mars --- safe, simple, and soon. Beyond the constraints of "affordable" and "sustainable" that can so easily lead to a relaxation into the "circular" NASA business as usual, I think these guys should be exposed to the proposition that green tech and exploration tech are so tightly linked that it is best to pursue both with equal and complimentary vigor. I, for one, hope to beef up my recent BALTICON science program talk on this topic to a presentation at the Mars Society Convention and see no reason not to bring the idea to their attention a few days later. I'm sure that many of us here in DC can develop some rational and compelling ideas these guys should consider.
Who is Mr Augustine anyway, and why was the fellow considered a good lead for this effort?
On to Mars,