The Bush administration named the chairman of Martin Marietta Corp. yesterday to head an independent committee that will review NASA's plans for the future of the nation's space program.

The choice of Norman R. Augustine, however, was immediately criticized by Sen. Albert Gore Jr. (D-Tenn.), who heads the Senate Commerce subcommittee on science, technology and space, as "flawed," because Martin Marietta works on several space-related projects.

Gore, who noted that Augustine has a "reputation for absolute integrity and enormous ability," said that "many Americans . . . will find it unusual that the administration is entrusting this critical study of NASA's future to the head of a company that does $500 million worth of business each year with NASA. . . .

"The American people may find it difficult to accept {the panel's} advice uncritically because it comes from someone whose company manufactures the external tank for the shuttle," Gore said.

Augustine, a former Army undersecretary, was the only appointee named in an announcement by Vice President Quayle, who is head of the National Space Council. The announcement said Augustine was recommended by NASA Administrator Richard H. Truly.

The committee was formed because of a behind-the-scenes struggle between NASA and the National Space Council over control of the space program. Quayle and the council have sought to persuade the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to seek alternate approaches to some major projects, including President Bush's plan to establish a manned base on the moon and send an expedition to Mars.