In early June the US presidential commission formulating the country's space exploration strategy will deliver a 10-point roadmap advocating a Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)-like approach that can survive many administrations.
As well as a JSF-style management structure, the 10 points are likely to recommend the appointment of a private-sector lead systems integrator, with a presidential space council as the government system integrator; the relegation of NASA to the role of long-term technology developer, aided by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; the wider involvement of other government agencies; a high level of foreign space agency involvement; a ring-fenced budget; and internationally tendered technology contracts.
"This [vision] is not just a NASA mission, it's a mission that [is] a national direction. There is one model [for it], the JSF," says former US Air Force secretary Pete Aldridge, chairman of the President's commission for the implementation of US space exploration policy.
ROB COPPINGER / LONDON
Source: Flight International