In an interview with M.I.T. Technology Review’s Brittany Sauser, Why NASA Needs a Better Plan, Scott Pace, current director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington, DC and former NASA Associate Administrator for Program Analysis and Evaluation concludes that President Obama’s mission for NASA is risky and unclear.
In something of an understatement felt by many in the space community, Pace expressed his disappointment that the Obama Administration didn’t choose to fully fund Constellation or add the funds, $3 billion per year, that the Augustine Committee had recommended in its final report. He also says that the Administration’s plans for using the International Space Station are vague.
Right now, with the canceling of the Constellation program, there are no announced plans for going beyond low Earth orbit. The deeper question is what NASA will be doing.
I don’t think there is any reason why technically [commercial human space flight] can’t be achieved, but it is going to be longer and more difficult than people expect.
The interview is not long but it is informative.