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Earth Science

Understanding and Protecting the Home Planet

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
March 13, 2008

Remarks by NASA Administrator Griffin to the 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

“Talking about the Space Act reminds me of the kerfluffle that ensued, a couple of years ago, when I changed our mission statement to be consistent with our legislated responsibilities. I thought the ensuing squabble was “Much Ado About Nothing”, and that a larger point was missed.”

Senators Collins and Lieberman Raise Concerns about Changes to NASA Mission Statement (August 2006)

“Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) sent a letter to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Dr. Michael D. Griffin expressing concerns about the organization’s elimination from its mission statement of the phrase “to understand and protect the home planet.”

Editor’s note: Mike, I am confused. If NASA’s legislated responsibilities do not include the task “to understand and protect the home planet” then why did you recently expand NASA’s Earth Science mission portfolio (with White House approval)? Shouldn’t you be decreasing or shrinking Earth science research and missions if such things are not within NASA’s purview?

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.