Purdue University President Mitch Daniels to co-chair national human spaceflight committee


Purdue University President Mitch Daniels has been asked to co-chair a National Research Council committee to review and make recommendations on the future of the U.S. human spaceflight program.

The appointment to the Committee on Human Spaceflight runs through June 30, 2014.

"Purdue has been an integral part of our nation's human spaceflight program from its infancy," Daniels said. "Alumni Virgil 'Gus' Grissom and Roger Chaffee gave their lives to advance that vision, which was realized when alumni Neil Armstrong was the first to step on the moon and Eugene Cernan was the last to leave it. Having the opportunity to help examine the goals of the U.S. human spaceflight program and offer recommendations for its future is an honor."

The National Research Council was tasked with appointing members to the committee as part of the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. The committee was formed to "undertake a study to review the long-term goals, core capabilities and direction of the U.S. spaceflight program and make recommendations to enable a sustainable U.S. spaceflight program."

"Purdue University President Mitchell Daniels brings the stature, leadership skills and broad insight into the public issues that are critical to a study of national importance that combines technology advancement and scientific inquiry with questions about how human exploration addresses our national goals," said Charles Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The National Research Council is part of the National Academies, an organization that produces reports used to help shape policies, inform public opinion and advance science, engineering and medicine. In addition to the National Research Council, the National Academies is composed of the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

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