Status Report

Space Exploration Initiative, NSPD-6, March 13, 1992

By SpaceRef Editor
March 13, 1992
Filed under , ,

I. Introduction

I have approved the next in a series of steps to be taken by the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense
(DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), and other federal agencies regarding
the planning for, and conduct of, the nation’s Space Exploration Initiative
(SEI) which includes both Lunar and Mars elements, manned and robotic missions
and supporting technology. This series of steps augments previous Presidential
directives and recognizes the recommendations of both the Advisory Committee
on the Future of the U.S. Space Program and the SEI Synthesis Group. The
exploration of space is one of the fundamental goals of the U.S. civil
space program. The SEI objectives, which build upon previous accomplishments,
as well as upon existing programs, include a return to the moon this time
to stay and human expeditions to Mars. In addition, the objectives will
provide a strategic framework for the conduct of the U.S. civil space program
and will help focus investments in many areas of goal-oriented research
and development by government, industry and academia. Consistent with the
Commercial Space Policy, this framework is also intended to encourage private
sector activities which augment or support the SEI objectives.

NASA is the principal implementing agency for the SEI. DOD and DOE,
as participating agencies, will have major roles in support of the SEI
in the conduct of technology development and concept definition. Other
U.S. government agencies are encouraged to participate by developing activities
supportive of the SEI.

II. Exploration Responsibilities & Actions

To establish a firm foundation and clear direction for the SEI, the following
actions shall be undertaken immediately:

(a) NASA shall establish an exploration office headed by the Associate
Administrator for Exploration and staffed by NASA and representatives from
other participating agencies. The Associate Administrator shall be responsible
for architecture and mission studies, planning, and program execution,
as well as the definition of resulting requirements for research, technology,
infrastructure, mission elements and program implementation. As director
of the exploration office, the Associate Administrator shall prepare an
annual status report. The NASA Administrator shall present this report
to the National Space Council.

(b) Working with participating agencies, NASA’s Associate Administrator
for Exploration shall develop a strategic plan for the SEI to establish
the basis for integrating existing and future SEIrelated activities. This
plan shall address research, technology development and operations and
identify the relationships between the SEI mission elements and the U.S.
space infrastructure.

(c) A Steering Committee for Space Exploration shall be established,
chaired by NASA’s Associate Administrator for Exploration, and shall include
representation from participating agencies. The Committee shall be the
senior interagency forum for coordinating organizational interfaces, reports,
plans and activities, and SEIrelated programs and budgets; and for identifying
those issues requiring consideration by the National Space Council. The
Department of State shall participate in any meetings of the Committee
related to international cooperations or other international activity.

III. Exploration Guidelines

To insure that necessary preparatory activities are accomplished, the following
steps shall be taken:

(a) The participating agencies shall address critical, longlead research
and technology development activities which are supportive of the exploration
strategic plan.

(b) The Department of Commerce and other appropriate agencies shall
encourage the development of SEIrelated proposals which foster private
sector investments, ownership and operation of spacerelated projects and
ventures, as well as promote U.S. economic competitiveness. These agencies
shall seek increased cooperation with the private sector through mechanisms
such as technology transfer agreements, cooperative research and development
agreements, and consortia, as appropriate.

(c) Exploration requirements shall be incorporated into the evolutionary
plans for the new national launch system.

(d) NASA, DOD, and DOE shall continue technology development for space
nuclear power and propulsion while ensuring that these activities are performed
in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner and consistent with existing
laws and regulations, treaty obligations and agency mission requirements.

(e) NASA and appropriate participating agencies shall implement a definitive
life science program in support of the human exploration of the Moon and

(f) All participating agencies should include space exploration in their
respective educational programs. In addition, participating agencies shall
take advantage of university research capabilities and cooperative education
programs in SEIrelated activities.

(g) International cooperation in this endeavor is feasible and could
offer significant benefits to the United States, subject to the satisfaction
of national security, foreign policy, scientific and economic interests.

(h) Expanding on individual agency efforts to improve and streamline
acquisition procedures, the Associate Administrator for Exploration, and
participating agencies, shall work with the Office of Management and Budget
and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to develop improved U.S. government
procurement practices available for SEI acquisition.

(i) The exploration office shall seek innovative ideas by encouraging
input from all sectors of American society.

IV. Reporting Requirements

(a) By November 1992, the first annual status report shall be presented
to the National Space Council. It shall address options for exploration
architectures and initial capabilities.

(b) The initial version of the Strategic Plan for the Space Exploration
Initiative shall be presented to the National Space Council by April 1992,
and updated regularly, thereafter. The initial version shall focus on technology
development and alternate mission architectures.

/s/ George Bush

SpaceRef staff editor.