Press Release

Sen. Hutchison Statement on NASA Gap Study

By SpaceRef Editor
May 6, 2005
Filed under , ,

Attached is a memo from NASA Administrator Dr, Michael Griffin. NASA has announced it will begin an internal study on how to minimize the gap between the final Space Shuttle mission and the maiden flight of an operational Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).

Also, in response this study announced late yesterday in a notice to members of Congress, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space, released the following statement:

“I am pleased to see Administrator Griffin is taking aggressive action to address the concerns many of us have about a future gap in U.S. human launch capability,” Sen. Hutchison said. “I will work to eliminate any gap between Space Shuttle retirement and a replacement vehicle. I look forward to seeing the initial results of this study in July.”

National Aeronautics and

Space Administration

Office of the Administrator

Washington, DC 20546-0001

April 29, 2005

TO: Officials-in-charge of Headquarters Offices

Drectors, NASA Centers

FROM: Administrator

SUBJECT: Exploration Systems Architecture Study Support

As a critical component of the Agency replanning effort, I have initiated an Exploration Systems Architecture Study. The study team will begin immediately and must complete its activities by mid-July to support a number of key Agency decisions. The study team will focus on four primary areas:

1. Complete assessment of the top-level Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) requirements and plans to enable the CEV to provide crew transport to the ISS and to accelerate the development of the CEV and crew launch system to reduce the gap between Shuttle retirement and CEV IOC.

2. Definition of top-level requirements and configurations for crew and cargo launch systems to support the lunar and Mars exploration programs.

3. Development of a reference lunar exploration architecture concept to support sustained human and robotic lunar exploraiton operations.

4. Identification of key technologies required to enable and significantly enhance these reference exploration systems and reprioritization of near-term and far-term technology investments.

This team will be led by Dr. Douglas Stanley and will operate fom NASA Headquarters. Dr. Stanley, or other members of my staff, will select and contact a small number of core team members to be co-located at Headquarters in the next few days. The team will need to draw on resources located at Headquarters and the Centers to efectively accomplish its mission. Please assist me by providing this team with the support required to accomplish these important tasks.

Mr. Chris shank of my staff is the primary point of contact if you have any questions about this effort.


Michael D. Griffin

SpaceRef staff editor.