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Augustine Committee

The Advisory Committee on the Future of the United States Space Program, commonly known as the Augustine Committee, was a 1990 space policy group requested by Vice President Dan Quayle, chairman of the National Space Council. The objective of the committee was to evaluate the long-term future of NASA and the United States civilian space program.[1] The committee's final report (known as the Augustine Report) recommended that the space program should comprise five activities—space science, Earth science, human spaceflight, space technology and space transportation—with space science as the highest priority for funding. It also proposed an unmanned launch vehicle to replace some Space Shuttle launches, and a scaled-back redesign of space station Freedom.[2]

Original recommendations

In its original report, the committee ranked five space activities in order of priority:

  1. Space science
  2. Technology development
  3. Earth science
  4. Unmanned launch vehicle
  5. Human spaceflight

At a dinner with Vice President Quayle and committee members, Office of Management and Budget director Richard Darman argued that the low priority projects would be eliminated during the budget process. The committee members decided to change their report. Space science was still given first priority, but the other activities were assigned equal priority behind space science.[3]

After discussing the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster the executive summary of the committee's report recommended, "saving the Space Shuttle for those missions requiring human presence."


The committee had twelve members in total, with one chairman and one vice chairman.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Warren E. Leary (July 17, 1990). "White House Orders Review of NASA Goals". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  2. ^ Warren E. Leary (December 11, 1990). "U.S. Advisers Urge Sweeping Change In Space Program". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  3. ^ Thor Hogan (May 2007). "The Augustine and Synthesis Group Reports" (PDF). Mars Wars: The Rise and Fall of the Space Exploration Initiative. NASA. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 25, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  4. ^ Warren E. Leary (August 3, 1990). "Panel Named for NASA Review". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2009.

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Augustine Committee
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