House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) on Monday announced the appointment of former Air Force chief historian Dr. Richard Kohn and retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales to fill two of the eight positions on the independent panel that will assess the findings of the Pentagon’s forthcoming Quadrennial Defense Review. “Gen. Scales and Dr. Kohn have the analytical backgrounds and practical military experience to help Congress evaluate the results and recommendations of the QDR,” said Skelton. The HASC ranking member and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman and ranking member will each select two individuals to fill the remaining six slots. The QDR’s release is expected in February when the Pentagon submits its Fiscal 2011 spending proposal to Congress. The independent panel’s report is due to Congress and the Defense Secretary no later than July 15, 2010.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.