Four Republican congressmen have introduced a new bill that would revamp the way NASA is run, stripping power from the agency's administrator and transferring it to an 11-person board of directors.
The Space Leadership Preservation Act is a response to recent withering criticism of NASA for its project management.
The release of the infamous Augustine report in 2009, which covered the scrapped Constellation human spaceflight programme, and revelations about massive cost overruns on the James Webb Space Telescope have handed ammunition to the agency's critics.
The board of directors, while admitting some members of the minority party, would essentially shift control to whichever party controls the House of Representatives and Senate. At present, both are dominated by the Republican party.
NASA is an executive agency and, as such, is under the control of whichever political party has the presidency. As Congress is generally held by the opposition, especially after mid-term elections, the change proposed by this latest bill would allow an unprecedented degree of opposition to presidential space policy.