The NRC, in its 2000 report, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium, ranked the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TFP) project third among major NASA missions and sixth overall in its research priority recommendations to NASA for the coming decade. In January 2004, NASA asked the NRC for an updated assessment of the TPF mission. In April 2004, NASA also announced its intention to proceed with both coronagrahic and interferometric planet finder missions (TPF-C and TPC-I) on an accelerated schedule. This letter report presents the findings of that updated assessment in light of NASA s announcement. In it, the NRC concludes that the mission's goals are consistent with the 2000 report, but raises two primary concerns. First, the current schedule for TPF-C does not leave enough time for vital precursor missions, and second, proceeding with the TPF-C now would disrupt the scientific balance of NASA s space science portfolio.
National Research Council. Review of Science Requirements for the Terrestrial Planet Finder: Letter Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2004.
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