"The technical analysis completed for this study shows that for the foreseeable future, the only feasible destinations for human exploration are the moon, asteroids, Mars, and the moons of Mars," Lunine added. "Among this small set of plausible goals, the most distant and difficult is putting human boots on the surface of Mars, thus that is the horizon goal for human space exploration. All long-range space programs by our potential partners converge on this goal."
"NASA welcomes the release of this report. After a preliminary review, we are pleased to find the NRC's assessment and identification of compelling themes for human exploration are consistent with the bipartisan plan agreed to by Congress and the Administration in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and that we have been implementing ever since."
"Net result: the committee's advice will be out of synch with reality and somewhat overtaken by events having taken a total of 3 years, 7 months to complete. Oh yes: the cost of this study? $3.6 million. The soonest that a NASA budget could be crafted that took this committee's advice into account would be the FY 2016 budget request. NASA and OMB will interact on the FY 2016 budget during Fall 2014 and it won't be announced until early 2015 - 4 1/2 years after this committee and its advice was requested in the NASA Authorization Act 2010."
Keith's note: Is this the final report - or one of those 3 page "letter" interim reports they like to issue? I guess we will find out shortly. If it is the final report then it is being released early. That reduces its irrelevancy (but not completely). If it is being completed a year early, will the NRC issue NASA a refund - or did they burn all the money to speed things up? They never answer these questions.
Why Does Space Policy Always Suck?, October 2013
"This self-perpetuating space policy echo chamber existed before sequesters, shutdowns, and CRs and it will continue to exist once this current budget nonsense is resolved - and it will survive as future congressional calamities ensue. Yet people still wonder why, after all these years, the process whereby space policy is developed sucks so very much - and why NASA finds it harder and harder to do what it is chartered to do."