"Dear. Sr. Squyres:
Enclosed are NASA's responses to the nine recommendations from the NASA Advisory Council meeting held April 24-25, 2013, at NASA Headquarters. Please do not hesitate to contact me if the Council would like further background on the responses. I appreciate the Council's thoughtful consideration leading to the recommendations and welcome its continued findings, recommendations, and advice concerning the U.S. civil space program.
Charles F. Bolden, Jr. Administrator"
1) Demonstrate and Articulate the Justification and Strategy
for NASA's New Asteroid Initiative
Recommendation: NASA should clearly demonstrate and articulate a strategy for the Agency's new Asteroid Initiative that highlights the benefits that will be gained, making progress toward NASA goals while furthering science and technology and benefiting humankind. The Agency should clearly demonstrate how the Initiative will serve as a stepping stone to NASA's ultimate goal of a human mission to Mars. Potential benefits include involving operations that could apply to future missions, including life support and deep space habitability, advanced propulsion, complex ground and space operations, rendezvous in new gravitational environments, and sampling of small objects.
The Agency should also demonstrate and articulate other potential benefits:
• Benefit the United States by forging new industrial capabilities and international
• Benefit humankind by advancing technologies and operations that might someday assist in the development ofa defense strategy for Earth-bound asteroids.