Vice President Al Gore on Monday appointed MIT President Charles M. Vest to head the Space Station Design Review Panel "responsible for assessing Space Station redesign options."
The redesign and the review were ordered by the White House "to bring national space policy goals within budget constraints," the Vice President said.
The panel members, who will be selected by Dr. Vest and the White House, will be charged with providing an independent assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of the various design options presented by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Redesign Team.
Vice President Gore said the blue-ribbon panel will be made up of an independent group of government, industry and academic experts with wide representation from across the country. The Space Station international partners also are being asked to participate.
"Dr. Vest brings extensive academic and management experience to the panel," Mr. Gore said in a White House news release. "The panel's role will be critical to the nation's future in science and technology, and in maintaining a US leadership role in space."
Vice President Gore, in a letter to Dr. Vest, said "The panel's task is a formidable one, but with your leadership, I have every confidence that you will provide us with objective, valid and insightful recommendations and I look forward to working with you."
Dr. Vest said he was "extremely honored" at his selection to head the review panel. "America's future in science and technology and as a world leader in space demands our utmost attention and care, and I am pleased to have this opportunity to serve," he said.
"It would be premature to discuss or comment on any aspect of the ongoing space station redesign effort. For the next several days I will be working with the White House to assemble a diverse panel of experts that will bring an appropriate measure of insight, integrity, and objectivity to this critical task."
Dr. Vest, 51, a mechanical engineer, became president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990. He is a graduate of West Virginia University and received his doctorate in engineering from the University of Michigan in 1967. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, and was a member of the faculty for 22 years at the University of Michigan, where he was dean of the college of engineering and then provost and vice president for academic affairs.
A version of this article appeared in the March 31, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 27).