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Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration SCIENCE IN NASA’S VISION FOR SPACE EXPLORATION Committee on the Scientific Context for Space Exploration Space Studies Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by Contract NASW 01001 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09593-X (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-54880-2 (PDF) Copies of this report are available free of charge from Space Studies Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration OTHER REPORTS OF THE SPACE STUDIES BOARD Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Final Report (SSB with Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, 2004) Exploration of the Outer Heliosphere and the Local Interstellar Medium: A Workshop Report (SSB, 2004) Issues and Opportunities Regarding the U.S. Space Program: A Summary Report of a Workshop on National Space Policy (SSB with Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, 2004) Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos (SSB, 2004) Review of Science Requirements for the Terrestrial Planet Finder: Letter Report (SSB, 2004) Solar and Space Physics and Its Role in Space Exploration (SSB, 2004) Understanding the Sun and Solar System Plasmas: Future Directions in Solar and Space Physics (SSB, 2004) Utilization of Operational Environmental Satellite Data: Ensuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond (SSB with Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, 2004) Assessment of NASA’s Draft 2003 Earth Science Enterprise Strategy: Letter Report (SSB, 2003) Assessment of NASA’s Draft 2003 Space Science Enterprise Strategy: Letter Report (SSB, 2003) Satellite Observations of the Earth’s Environment: Accelerating the Transition of Research to Operations (SSB with Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, 2003) Steps to Facilitate Principal-Investigator-Led Earth Science Missions (SSB, 2003) The Sun to the Earthand Beyond: Panel Reports (SSB, 2003) Assessment of Directions in Microgravity and Physical Sciences Research at NASA (SSB, 2002) New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy (SSB, 2002) The Sun to Earthand Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics (SSB, 2002) Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium (Board on Physics and Astronomy with SSB, 2000) Microgravity Research in Support of Technologies for the Human Exploration and Development of Space and Planetary Bodies (SSB, 2000) A Strategy for Research in Space Biology and Medicine in the New Century (SSB, 1998) Limited copies of SSB reports are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (202) 334-3477 email@example.com www.nationalacademies.org/ssb/ssb.html NOTE: Listed according to year of approval for release.
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Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration COMMITTEE ON THE SCIENTIFIC CONTEXT FOR SPACE EXPLORATION LENNARD A. FISK, University of Michigan, Chair DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado ANA P. BARROS, Duke University RETA F. BEEBE, New Mexico State University ROGER D. BLANDFORD, Stanford University RADFORD BYERLY, JR., University of Colorado DONALD E. INGBER, Harvard Medical School TAMARA E. JERNIGAN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California, Los Angeles LAURIE LESHIN, Arizona State University SUZANNE OPARIL, University of Alabama, Birmingham GEORGE A. PAULIKAS, The Aerospace Corporation (retired) RONALD F. PROBSTEIN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DENNIS W. READEY, Colorado School of Mines EDWARD C. STONE, California Institute of Technology HARVEY D. TANANBAUM, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory J. CRAIG WHEELER, University of Texas, Austin A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired) JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER, Study Director DAVID H. SMITH, Senior Program Officer CLAUDETTE K. BAYLOR-FLEMING, Senior Program Assistant CATHERINE A. GRUBER, Assistant Editor, Space Studies Board
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Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration SPACE STUDIES BOARD LENNARD A. FISK, University of Michigan, Chair GEORGE A. PAULIKAS, The Aerospace Corporation (retired), Vice Chair DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado ANA P. BARROS, Duke University RETA F. BEEBE, New Mexico State University ROGER D. BLANDFORD, Stanford University RADFORD BYERLY, JR., University of Colorado JUDITH A. CURRY, Georgia Institute of Technology JACK D. FARMER, Arizona State University JACQUELINE N. HEWITT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DONALD E. INGBER, Harvard Medical Center RALPH H. JACOBSON, The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (retired) TAMARA E. JERNIGAN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory MARGARET G. KIVELSON, University of California, Los Angeles CALVIN W. LOWE, Bowie State University HARRY Y. McSWEEN, JR., University of Tennessee BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire NORMAN NEUREITER, Texas Instruments (retired) SUZANNE OPARIL, University of Alabama, Birmingham RONALD F. PROBSTEIN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DENNIS W. READEY, Colorado School of Mines ANNA-LOUISE REYSENBACH, Portland State University ROALD S. SAGDEEV, University of Maryland CAROLUS J. SCHRIJVER, Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory HARVEY D. TANANBAUM, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory J. CRAIG WHEELER, University of Texas, Austin A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired) JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER, Director
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Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration Preface This report stems from several key events that influenced U.S. space policy in 2004. On January 14, 2004, President George W. Bush announced major new goals for human and robotic exploration of space that would include sending humans back to the Moon and later to Mars.1 On the same day the National Academies released the report of a November 2003 space policy workshop that independently addressed many of the issues covered in the new Bush space policy.2 In its June 2004 report the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy recommended that NASA “ask the National Academy of Sciences to engage its constituent scientific community in a reevaluation of priorities to exploit opportunities created by the space exploration vision.”3 NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe subsequently wrote to the presidents of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering proposing that the National Academies and NASA consider how to “collectively address” the commission’s recommendations. He also announced a new strategic planning process in which NASA would develop a “strategic roadmap” for each of the agency’s highest-level goals. Finally, Congress in its FY2005 appropriation bill for NASA directed “the National Academies’ Space Studies Board to conduct a thorough review of the science that NASA is proposing to undertake under the space exploration initiative and to develop a strategy by which all of NASA’s science disciplines, including Earth science, space science, and life and microgravity science, as well as the science conducted aboard the International Space Station, can make adequate progress towards their established goals, as well as providing balanced scientific research in addition to support of the new initiative.”4 This report provides a partial response by the National Academies to the recommendations of the President’s Commission and the requests from Administrator O’Keefe and the Congress. To further assist in response to the various requests, the NRC will organize separate, independent reviews of NASA’s new strategic roadmaps. This report was prepared by the ad hoc Committee on the Scientific Context for Space Exploration5 according to the following charge: An ad hoc committee will prepare a short report regarding the role of science in the context of NASA’s new vision for space exploration. The committee will draw on relevant past NRC science strategies and will do the following: Develop a guiding statement of how scientific efforts will mesh into the new vision for space exploration, Review available “decadal” surveys and similarly relevant science strategy reports and comment on their timeliness and relevance in the context of the committee’s definition of science, Recommend major goals and roles of science in the context of space exploration, and 1 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), The Vision for Space Exploration, NP-2004-01-334-HQ, NASA, Washington, D.C., 2004. 2 National Research Council, Issues and Opportunities Regarding the U.S. Space Program: A Summary Report of a Workshop on National Space Policy, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2004. 3 A Journey to Inspire, Innovate, and Discover: Report of the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy, ISBN 0-16-073075-9, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 2004. 4 Joint Explanatory Statement: (NASA Excerpts) Conference Report on H.R. 4818 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005. 5 See Appendix B for committee member biographies.
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Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration Recommend a set of guiding principles for integrating science into space exploration. Many members of the committee had participated in Space Studies Board (SSB) discussions of aspects of these issues going back to the Board’s first post-Columbia-accident meeting in March 2003, and many also participated in the November 2003 NRC space policy workshop. The committee includes senior members of the space science and astrophysics community who were contributors to the various NRC decadal science strategy surveys that constitute an important portion of prior scientific advice on these issues. Board members who chair several of the SSB’s relevant discipline standing committees also were able to share a sense of the views of the members of the standing committees for consideration in preparing this report. The committee met on November 17-19, 2004, at the National Academies’ Beckman Center in Irvine, California. During the meeting the committee reviewed developments since publication of the report on the 2003 NRC space policy workshop, held extended discussions with NASA’s Associate Administrator for Science and the NASA Director of Advanced Planning, and received briefings on relevant aspects of the report of the President’s Commission and on related space exploration planning in Europe. The committee also received input from the disciplinary standing committees of the Space Studies Board regarding recent relevant NRC science strategy reports and the implications of the strategy reports for the new space exploration goals. All of those discussions served to inform the committee’s deliberations, which then led to this consensus report. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Michael J.S. Belton, Belton Space Exploration Initiatives, LLC, Don P. Giddens, Georgia Institute of Technology, Michael D. Griffin, Johns Hopkins University, Noel Hinners, Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired), John P. Huchra, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Frank B. McDonald, University of Maryland, Robert J. Serafin, National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Norman Sleep, Stanford University. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Louis J. Lanzerotti, Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, and New Jersey Institute of Technology. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Science in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration Contents SUMMARY 1 1 THE IMPETUS TO EXPLORE 4 Elements in a Vibrant Approach to Exploration, 4 Exploration and Science, 5 2 PLANNING AT NASA 8 NASA’s Current Science Program, 8 NASA’s New Major Objectives, 8 Planning for Science Selection, 9 International Collaboration, 11 Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, 11 3 RELEVANCE OF THE DECADAL STRATEGIES AND RELATED REPORTS 13 Decadal and Other Strategies, 14 Priority Setting in the Context of Human Exploration, 15 APPENDIXES A Major Scientific Questions Defined by the Decadal Survey Reports 21 B Committee Member and Staff Biographies 24