"After an extended period of writing and editing, the Augustine Committee's final report was delivered to the White House yesterday. Today it was released to the public at a media briefing held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
The Augustine Committee - named after its chair, Norm Augustine - is formally known as the Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee. The Committee was chartered earlier this year by the White House under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). As such, its deliberations and other activities are done pretty much in the open. With the advent of web streaming, and other social networking tools, nearly everything that the committee did was done in full view of the public.
As such there should have not been any surprises contained in this report. That said, people still expected to see something new today such as the cancellation of Ares 1 or the selection of a new heavy launch vehicle. None of that happened. It was never going to happen.
In a nutshell, the Augustine Committee viewed NASA's current human spaceflight program as being in a time of transition. Mounting costs and technical challenges had resulted in the current approach being deemed as unable to meet the goals it was intend to accomplish."