National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Headquarters Washington, DC 20546–0001
MAR 22 2000
Reply to Attn of: SR.
Professor Claude Canizares
Space Studies Board
National Academy of Sciences
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418
Dear Professor Canizares:
The House-Senate Conference Report on Appropriations for NASA includes the following paragraph:
“The conferees are concerned that the large amount of data being collected as part of NASA science missions is not being put to the best possible use. To allay these concerns, the conferees direct NASA to contract With the National Research Council (NRC) for the study of the availability and usefulness of data collected from all of NASA’s science missions. The study should also address what investments are needed in data analysis commensurate with the promotion of new missions.
We are surprised by these concerns, since the NASA Science Enterprises have, during the past few years, made deliberate efforts to make data from our science missions accessible and user-friendly. On the other hand, we recognize that there is certainly, room for improvement.
The purpose of this letter is to readiest that the Space Studies Board (SSB) conduct the study directed by Congress. We are addressing the SSB since it is the NRC entity most closely connected with the content and usage of science research in Earth and space science. We request that you address the following issues:
How available/accessible are data from science missions (after expiration of processing and proprietary analysis periods, if any) from the point of view of both scientists in the larger U.S. research community, as well as U.S. education/public outreach specialists? What, if anything, should be changed to improve accessibility?