Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in

Developing the Hardware for Future Human Space Exploration

03/08/2006 3:00 PM E51-115 Wong
Michael Griffin, NASA Administrator

Description: While Michael Griffin sees a wealth of reasons for space exploration in general and returning to the moon in particular, NASA must still manage on a tiny portion of "the national treasure." This 7/10th of a percent of the national budget _ the equivalent of each American paying 15 cents every day _ "is not an expenditure we should do without," Griffin asserts. We are driven to investigate beyond earth because curiosity and the desire to master new territory are "wired into our DNA." But Griffin finds great value in the "opportunity for benign cooperative American leadership." Space exploration strengthens the nation, society and the human species, he says.

Developing a foothold on the moon will afford humans experience in operating away from earth's environment, helping to develop the technology needed for opening the space frontier -- practice for Mars and beyond. Griffin provides details on emerging models for a new crew exploration vehicle and booster rockets. NASA is attempting to take advantage of earlier designs for the sake of economy and speed _ "architecture with as little fuss and bother as possible, maximizing the use of things we already own." There will be plenty of commercial opportunities in these public missions, with NASA seeking to purchase launch and communication services as soon as available. And he envisions promoting international cooperation by offering seats in the lunar lander in exchange, in one example, for help in setting up a lunar habitat. "We don't want to return to the days where NASA does everything," says Griffin.

About the Speaker(s): Prior to being nominated as NASA Administrator, Griffin served as Space Department Head at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory. He was previously President and Chief Operating Officer of In-Q-Tel, Inc., and also served in several positions within Orbital Sciences Corporation. Earlier in his career, Griffin served as Chief Engineer and as Associate Administrator for Exploration at NASA, and as Deputy for Technology at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. Griffin received a bachelor's degree in Physics from Johns Hopkins University; a master's degree in Aerospace Science from Catholic University of America; a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland; a master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California; a master's degree in Applied Physics from Johns Hopkins University; a master's degree in Business Administration from Loyola College; and a master's degree in Civil Engineering from George Washington University.

Host(s): School of Engineering, Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium

Tape #: T21025

Comments (0)

It looks like no one has posted a comment yet. You can be the first!

You need to log in, in order to post comments.

MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated 12 months ago

December 12, 2011 21:35
All Rights Reserved (What is this?)
Additional Files

4101 times

More from MIT World — special events and lectures

CrackBerrys: Exploring the Social Implications of Wireless Email Devices

CrackBerrys: Exploring the Social I...

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:51:50 | 7718 views

Network-Driven Transportation

Network-Driven Transportation

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:57:15 | 20009 views

Contemplative Dimensions of Human Experience

Contemplative Dimensions of Human E...

Added almost 5 years ago | 01:40:00 | 13885 views

Climate Variability and Change and their Impact on the Global Harvest

Climate Variability and Change and ...

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:52:16 | 3387 views

Building Microbe Refineries

Building Microbe Refineries

Added almost 5 years ago | 01:10:00 | 4641 views

Reflections on the Current H1N1 Flu

Reflections on the Current H1N1 Flu

Added almost 5 years ago | 01:01:00 | 14200 views