WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University President Mitch Daniels will testify about human space flight during a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing Wednesday (June 25).
Daniels will be joined by Jonathan Lunine, director of Cornell University's Center for Radiophysics and Space Research. Daniels and Lunine co-chaired the National Research Council's Committee on Human Spaceflight. The committee issued its report, "Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration," earlier this month.
The report, which examined the goals of the U.S. human spaceflight program and offered recommendations for a sustainable program moving forward, is the subject of the Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing.
Daniels is expected to tell the House panel that the Committee on Human Spaceflight believes a strong case can be made for continuing the nation's human spaceflight program if a pathways approach is taken.
That approach would require the government to come to a consensus on achieving a highly disciplined set of objectives from which the nation would not deviate over time and for which stable funding would be provided.
The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is chaired by Lamar Smith (R-Texas). Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) is a member of the committee and chairman of its Subcommittee on Research. He is a physician who represents southern Indiana.
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.
Daniels leads a university that has a rich tradition in the U.S. space program. Purdue has had 23 graduates become astronauts, including the late Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, and Eugene Cernan, the most recent person to walk on the moon. Purdue graduates flew on Gemini and Apollo flights, 47 space shuttle missions and on the International Space Station.