April 15, 2015
Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and approaches for a U.S. program of human space exploration
Mary Lynne Dittmar
Member, NRC Human Spaceflight Committee
Lobby in front of McMurtry Auditorium
McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall
50 years after we first began, Americans continue to fly into space not so much because the public strongly wants it to be so, but because space exploration dominated by the vehicles and astronauts of other nations seems unthinkable. Yet human spaceflight—among the longest of long-term endeavors—cannot be successful if held hostage to short-term decision-making and budgetary processes. The “Pathways to Exploration” report, requested by Congress and commissioned by NASA through the National Research Council, describes findings, principles and goals that may be helpful to revive human spaceflight and create a sustainable program of human exploration of the endless frontier of space.
Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar is a consultant, entrepreneur and author specializing in strategy, public engagement and space policy. As CEO of her own consultancy she has guided defense, aerospace and technology firms to more than $2B in new business while providing insight into legislative, regulatory and political processes at the national and regional level. She is a trusted advisor to senior officials in government and industry in space, both in the United States and abroad.
Previously, Mary Lynne worked for the Boeing Company where she oversaw new technology development and managed the Flight Operations group for the International Space Station assembly flights. More recent projects include development of the Strategic Plan for the International Space Station National Laboratory. She continues to serve as Senior Policy Advisor for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), which manages the ISS National Lab. She is a Fellow of the National Research Society and an Associate Fellow of the AIAA, and was a member of the National Research Council Committee for Human Spaceflight under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, which produced the “Pathways to Exploration” report.