National Academy of Sciences Soliciting Input on Human Space Flight

space flight 2I just received some interesting email about the NRC looking for input on human space flight. This is a great opportunity to let our voices be heard on an important issue, so please share this, and considering submitting a short input paper of your own.

From: David Brandt-Erichsen
Announcement of Opportunity to Submit Input to Study on Human  Spaceflight

Deadline is July 9

The U.S. National Research Council  (NRC) of the National Academy of
Sciences is currently  conducting a congressionally-requested study
to examine the  goals, core capabilities, and direction of human
space flight.  This study, which is being carried out by the NRC’s
Committee  on Human Spaceflight, will provide findings and
recommendations  to guide the U.S. human spaceflight enterprise in a
sustainable  manner. The Committee on Human Spaceflight recognizes
the  importance of reaching out to the communities interested in
human exploration and is using several approaches to solicit input
regarding the motivations, goals, and the possible evolution of
human spaceflight. One important source of input is this call  for
short papers from communities around the world with an  interest in
human spaceflight.

The Committee on Human  Spaceflight invites interested individuals
and groups to submit  input papers describing their own ideas on the
role of human  spaceflight and their vision for a suggested future.
In  developing their papers, respondents are asked to carefully
consider the following broad questions.

1. What are the important  benefits provided to the United States and
other countries by  human spaceflight endeavors?

2. What are the greatest challenges to  sustaining a U.S. government
program in human spaceflight?

3. What are the ramifications and what would the nation and  world
lose if the United States terminated NASA’s human  spaceflight

In discussing the above questions,  respondents are asked to describe
the reasoning that supports  their arguments and, to the extent
possible, include or cite  any evidence that supports their views. In
considering #1  above, submitters may consider private as well as
government  space programs.

This request for input papers is open to any and all  interested
individuals and groups. For more information on the  committee and
the goals of the study, please see the statement  of task at

Formatting  and Length Requirements

To facilitate document management, the Committee  asks that
submitters abide by the following formatting  guidelines:

• Input papers should not be more than 4 pages in length.  Papers can
include web links to other documents among the  references.

• Use a 10 or 12-pt font with 1-inch margins on all sides of  the

• Use Microsoft Word (.doc) or Adobe  Acrobat (.pdf). No other
formats will be accepted.

•  Authors are responsible for obtaining any permissions necessary to
use, or for the NRC to reproduce, copyrighted material.

• Position  papers must be less than 50 MB in size. For file
management  purposes, please compress your figures if this does not
detract  from the clarity of your white paper. You should feel free

to include hyperlinks to high resolution versions.

• A cover page can be  included (beyond the 4-page limit) that shows
the title of the  white paper, a short abstract, the primary author’s
name, phone  number, institution, and email address, and a list of
co-authors with their respective institutions.

Utilization of the  Papers

All submitted papers will be reviewed by the Committee on  Human
Spaceflight. Note that, because participants will be  self-selected,
these input papers will not be used to judge the  prevalence of
attitudes or opinions within various communities.  However, they will
help ensure that the committee hears about  important issues from
interested parties. The submitted papers  will also be available for
public viewing at All input papers will be considered non-proprietary for  distribution with attribution.

Submission Instructions

Please  submit your white paper by navigating to Clicking on the  appropriate link there which will take you to a page where you can upload your  input paper as instructed. You must agree to the copyright consent form on that  page before uploading your document. Doing so will ensure that your paper will  be reviewed by the committee and that your contribution will be made publicly  available.

Submissions must be made through by no later than July  9, 2013. All submitted white papers will be made public.


What do you think? Should we pursue human space flight, or leave it to the robots?


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