Devon Island Expedition

Devon Island Expedition
This blog features educational updates on my Devon Island Expedition of July 14-20, 2007. Other sites:,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Augustine Committee Work Continues

Thank you to everyone who has provided input to the Committee through this blog, direct emails and other means. Our work continues, and I can assure you that I have read everything that has come in.

We will consider all options and points of view. We have and will continue to ask a lot of questions, and have analyses done by NASA and independent outfits. We plan to issue our report by the end of August.

One thing to emphasize: Our charter is not to make recommendations, but to present options to the Administration. We have a good group of folks, with different backgrounds. We are all dedicated to this work, and promise a careful and thoughtful report with several well-explained options.

Thank you for your continuing support!

Leroy Chiao

Monday, June 1, 2009

Augustine Human Space Flight Review Commission

Today, I was named as a member to the Augustine Commission. We have been tasked to develop options for the next NASA Administrator (Congratulations on your nomination, Charlie Bolden!) and the White House.

I have my ideas, some of which have been expressed in this blog. But, I have an open mind and have never thought that i knew it all, about anything. So, let me know what you think! Where should America's manned space program go? How can we do it within the proscribed budget?

Leroy Chiao

North Korean Miscalculation?

Last week, North Korea conducted a nuclear test, barely fifty miles from the Chinese border. They also are currently gearing up for a long range missile test. The threat is clear. True, their last missile test was less than successful, and by most accounts, their nuclear test was crude (experts appear unanimous in their belief that the North Koreans do not yet have the ability to make a small warhead, that could be fitted onto one of their missiles). However, it is a matter of time and will.

But, have the North Koreans miscalculated? China is, for the first time in my memory, publicly angry with North Korea for their hijinks, especially the bomb test. Especially so close to the border. North Korea is TOTALLY dependent on China for raw materials and supplies as basic as food, fuel and electrical power. Does it really pay to bite the hand that feeds you, especially when you've burned your bridges with almost the rest of the world (I suppose Venezuela might come to the rescue)?

Has Kim Jong Il totally lost it, or are these the death throes of a nation destroyed from the inside?

Leroy Chiao