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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2001 Space Studies Board Annual Report 2001 NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL National Academy Press Washington, D.C.

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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2001 The Space Studies Board is a unit of the National Research Council, which serves as an independent advisor to the federal government on scientific and technical questions of national importance. The National Research Council, jointly administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, brings the resources of the entire scientific and technical community to bear through its volunteer advisory committees. Support for the work of the Space Studies Board and its committees and task groups was provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Contracts NASW-96013 and NASW-01001, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Contract 50-DKNA-6-90040 and Purchase Order No. 40-AA-NR-111308, Environmental Protection Agency Grant X-82821401, Army Corps of Engineers Purchase Order DACA89-99-M-0147, NASA John C. Stennis Space Center Orders NS-7426 and NS-7570, Department of Transportation Order DTRS56-00-P-70077, U.S. Geological Survey Cooperative Agreement 00HQAG0204, National Science Foundation Grants ATM-0109283 and AST-0075757, Office of Naval Research Grant N00014-01-1-0753, and Air Force Office of Scientific Research Purchase Order FQ8671-0101168. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.

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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2001 From the Chair Reviewing the events of 2001 and comparing them with forecasts in my remarks in the Space Studies Board’s (SSB’s) annual report for the year 2000 is an exercise in humility. How very quickly my projections of things to come became inadequate. One cannot put aside the wrenching images of airplanes flown into buildings and the unimaginable horrors that followed; nevertheless, the SSB’s work continues, and that must be the subject of this preface to its annual report of 2001. Beyond the immediate effects of September 11, there were many changes affecting the civil space programs of the United States. Although the principal purpose of an annual report is always to look back at the past year, it is especially necessary this year to look forward as well, and I will attempt to do so later in this preface. Looking back, the year 2001 was a busy one for the SSB. Eight reports were completed. They included one major science strategy (for Mars); one report requested by Congress (on International Space Station [ISS] research); one report requested by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the organization of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Science Foundation (NSF) programs in astronomy; and a brief report on the follow-on mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. SSB initiated two major decadal science strategy studies (solar system exploration and space physics). I will say more about the completed reports below. It also supported a record number of committee and community outreach meetings (~75). When the annual report of the Space Studies Board for the year 2000 was written, a new Presidential administration was just entering office, and its intentions in space activities were uncertain. During the intervening year, aspects of those intentions are becoming clearer, and the 2003 federal budget submitted by the President to Congress continues to fill in the details. In all agencies, the combination of a slowing economy and new spending priorities resulting from September 11 has increased pressure to control federal spending. It is axiomatic that major new initiatives will encounter difficulty in securing approval. In NASA, the Bush administration places the highest priority on getting the ISS finances in order, following the announcement of a massive cost overrun just before mid-year. The administration also sees value in bringing NASA and the Department of Defense closer together—especially in the development of new launch vehicles. Similarly, the administration seeks closer ties between NOAA and the Department of Defense, and stricter cost controls on NOAA as well. During 2001, a considerable part of SSB’s time (in terms of both briefings to the Board and report preparation) was devoted to the ISS. Two reports were published: (1) the congressionally requested Readiness Issues Related to

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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2001 Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station was carried out by the Task Group on Research on the International Space Station in collaboration with the National Academy of Public Administration and (2) the NASA-requested The Mission of Microgravity and Physical Sciences Research at NASA was prepared by the Committee on Microgravity Research. However, unlike the perceived situation at the start of the year, essentially all matters relating to the ISS became uncertain in the course of the studies and remain so at this writing. The status of international agreements, funding, schedule, eventual research capabilities, and eventual crew size are all unknown. During 2001, much of the future U.S. ISS research capability was delayed or eliminated. Facilities for both crew and research were sharply reduced. Likewise, NASA announced that a new ranking would be made as to what research should be done on the ISS. Furthermore, the ISS was placed on financial probation for 2 years without a clear understanding of what will be required to remove the probationary status, or what will occur whether or not the probationary status is lifted. The future of the ISS as a research laboratory, if such a future exists, will remain in limbo indefinitely pending NASA’s sorting out of these issues. As a part of that sorting out, the work completed by the SSB in 2001 will have to be reexamined. The SSB can expect to again be heavily involved in the ISS planning during 2002. In 2001, the SSB continued its long involvement with issues surrounding planetary and lunar exploration with three studies: The Quarantine and Certification of Martian Samples and the science strategy Assessment of Mars Science and Mission Priorities, both by the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, and Signs of Life: A Report Based on the April 2000 Workshop on Life Detection Techniques, by the Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life of the SSB and the Board on Life Sciences. These reports should have a long, useful shelf life despite changes in the NASA program framework. Planetary exploration is not unaffected, however, in the new 2003 budget proposed by the Bush administration, because the budget deletes the Outer Planets Program (Pluto and Europa Orbiter missions) in its present form and redirects the funding to a revamped New Frontiers Program. It is noteworthy that the funds were redirected rather than deleted. The revamped program is intended to offer focused competitions for regular opportunities addressing the origins and existence of life beyond Earth. In the past, such competitions were part of many SSB recommendations. In addition, the administration is proposing an augmentation to the budget to begin parallel developments of new nuclear power and electric propulsion systems. The effort, to be conducted jointly by NASA and the Department of Energy, would, if approved by Congress, greatly enhance the nation’s capability to conduct all planetary exploration, but especially those at the distances of the outer planets, where trip times are long and available payload mass and electrical power are extremely limited by current technologies. In astronomy and astrophysics, the SSB continued its collaboration with the Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA). The joint standing committee of the two boards, the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, prepared the letter report “Scientific Assessment of the Descoped Mission Concept for the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST)” for NASA’s Office of Space Science. The report examined the effect of reducing the diameter of the primary mirror in the mission to follow the Hubble Space Telescope from 8 meters to 6. The reduction was found to be a plausible step, but much work remains to be done to advance the design of this important and challenging mission. Some of us remember quite vividly the opening of the Palomar 200-in. telescope, and it is amazing that we are now planning to place an even larger diameter telescope in orbit. It is even more amazing to me that so many of our younger colleagues are so undaunted in taking this next step. The Hubble Space Telescope has produced magnificent scientific results, and the successor mission needs the full engagement of the scientific community to continue that tradition. The SSB and BPA also formed an ad hoc committee, the Committee on the Organization and Management of Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics, to address a request by the President’s Office of Management and Budget to examine whether the astronomy and astrophysics programs currently under the National Science Foundation should be transferred to NASA for joint management with the companion space missions. The committee prepared a report, U.S. Astronomy and Astrophysics: Managing an Integrated Program, that recommends against such a merger, but it offered a number of suggestions for improved management of the two agencies’ programs. Just as the above work resulted from collaborations with other boards of the National Research Council, the SSB partnered with the Ocean Studies Board in the first of three planned workshop reports on remote sensing. The SSB, including the Space Applications Board that was subsumed by the SSB some years ago, has a more than 40-year history of work on the science and applications of Earth observations from space. These workshops continue that effort. The workshop results and further studies are documented in Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications, prepared by the Steering Committee on Space Applications and Commercialization. Remote sensing, of all the disciplines the SSB addresses, uniquely blends civil, defense, private, and governmental

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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2001 research, along with applications considerations, in a constantly evolving environment. The complexity of science and applications in remote sensing shows no signs of easing, and the Board’s involvement seems permanent. The next two workshop reports and the continuing studies by the Board’s Committee on Earth Studies are only milestones along a very long road. In its 2000 report, the SSB said, “. . . we certainly have no lack of challenging work to undertake in 2001.” That was even truer than we knew in 2001 and will remain true in 2002. John H. McElroy Chair Space Studies Board

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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2001 This page in the original is blank.

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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2001 Contents     From the Chair   iii 1   Charter and Organization of the Board   1 2   Activities and Membership   6 3   Summaries of Major Reports   36     3.1 The Quarantine and Certification of Martian Samples,   36     3.2 U.S. Astronomy and Astrophysics: Managing an Integrated Program,   41     3.3 Readiness Issues Related to Research in the Biological and Physical Sciences on the International Space Station,   44     3.4 Assessment of Mars Science and Mission Priorities,   46     3.5 The Mission of Microgravity and Physical Sciences Research at NASA,   50     3.6 Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications,   52     3.7 Signs of Life: A Report Based on the April 2000 Workshop on Life Detection Techniques,   56 4   Short Report   60     4.1 Scientific Assessment of the Descoped Mission Concept for the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST),   60 5   Cumulative Bibliography   62

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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2001 Space Studies Board Chairs Lloyd V. Berkner, Graduate Research Center, Dallas, Texas, 1958–1962 Harry H. Hess, Princeton University, 1962–1969 Charles H. Townes, University of California at Berkeley, 1970–1973 Richard M. Goody, Harvard University, 1974–1976 A.G.W. Cameron, Harvard College Observatory, 1977–1981 Thomas M. Donahue, University of Michigan, 1982–1988 Louis J. Lanzerotti, American Telephone & Telegraph Co., Bell Labs, 1989–1994 Claude R. Canizares, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1994–2000 John H. McElroy, University of Texas at Arlington (retired), 2000–