According to a Feb. 27, 2013 post in the Space Politics blog, a group of congressmen, including Rep. Frank Wolfe, R-VA and Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, has reintroduced the Space Leadership Preservation Act, first rolled out in 2012. The main feature of the bill would be the establishment of a Board of Directors to oversee NASA, submit a budget for the space agency, and appoint its administrator to a six year term.
Culberson, according to the Houston Chronicle, suggested at a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Space that the bill would provide much needed stability and oversight to NASA. A recent report by the National Research Council criticized current space policy, finding that the space agency lacked direction, leadership, and adequate funding. President Obama’s space exploration plan, to send astronauts to an asteroid, came in for special criticism. Obama had cancelled President Bush’s Constellation program that would have returned astronauts to the moon by the end of the current decade.
Having a board of directors, chosen by the president and various congressional leaders and made up for former astronauts, engineers, scientists and other space experts, is meant to provide some impediment to sudden lurches in policy, cancelling programs midstream, and wasting money. Culberson claimed that NASA has spent roughly $20 billion on programs like Constellation that have since been cancelled.