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President names space policy panel

President Bush on Friday named  eight new members of  a commission charged with figuring out how to get humans back to the moon and beyond.
/ Source: The Associated Press

President Bush on Friday named the eight people from academia and industry who will join former Air Force Secretary Pete Aldridge on a commission charged with figuring out how to get humans back to the moon and beyond.

Bush created the Presidential Commission on the Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy to advise NASA on his new space vision. Earlier this month Bush outlined a goal of sending astronauts back to the moon by 2020 and, eventually, on to Mars.

The initiative, to be initially funded by $1 billion in new money over five years and an additional $11 billion diverted from other NASA projects, also envisions a new spacecraft to replace the shuttle and carry astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit.

The commission is to offer advice on Bush’s plan, including a moon research agenda; ways to bring in industry and other countries as partners; and suggestions for increasing young people’s interest in related fields, according to an executive order Bush signed Friday.

The order instructs the unpaid commission members to provide recommendations to the president within four months of their first meeting and to hold sessions to get views from the public and industry. The commission will be disbanded two months after delivering a final report.

Joining Aldridge, a one-time astronaut trainee and top Pentagon official on the commission, are:

  • Carly Fiorina, chairman and chief executive of Hewlett-Packard.
  • Michael P. Jackson of Virginia.
  • Laurie Ann Leshin, a planetary geochemist at Arizona State University.
  • Retired Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles.
  • Paul Spudis, a visiting scientist with the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston.
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson of the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
  • Former Rep. Robert S. Walker, R-Pa.
  • Mars scientist Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.