The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Friday it will go back to the drawing board to design a simpler, less costly space station as recommended by a panel of experts.
NASA administrator Richard Truly announced the new review less than a month after the completion of a yearlong reassessment of the space station design.The Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program recommended Dec. 10 that the space station "be reconfigured to reduce cost and complexity" and that an existing 90-day time limit on redesign should be extended if needed.
Truly agreed to the extension but did not say how long it will be. Managers of the program were meeting Friday to decide how to proceed and were not available for comment.
Truly said, too, that NASA is moving to implement these other recommendations of the panel:
-Space science will remain as NASA's priority.
-A joint NASA-Department of Defense task force will study development of a new booster rocket to be used by both agencies.
-A personnel system will be worked out "that recognizes NASA's special requirements for attracting and retaining top-flight scientists, engineers and other specialists.
The committee, noting that the space agency is not competitive with industry in attracting people with those skills, recommended that at the very least exemptions from government pay scales and the like be granted to 10 percent of its employees.
The committee, which had been appointed jointly by NASA and the National Space Council, had 15 major recommendations and Truly said a number of studies based on those had been started within the space agency.
The NASA administrator briefed Vice President Dan Quayle and the National Space Council on Friday.