How well crafted are the research plans for the areas under review? In general, is the use of laboratory experiment, modeling, simulation, and/or field test appropriate? How well are these methods integrated?
Have the appropriate supporting system-level assessments been conducted?
Do both the researchers and managers understand and manage the risks involved to an appropriate level?
Are the plans for further study reasonable and justifiable?
Is the scientific or engineering quality of the work (including work performed in academia and industry) comparable to similar world-class efforts at other institutions, and is it appropriate for the goal?
Are the qualifications of the scientific and engineering staff (including researchers in academia and industry) sufficient to achieve program goals?
Are the capabilities, quantity, and state of readiness of equipment and facilities sufficient to achieve program goals?
Are personnel, equipment, and facilities supplied by support contractors used efficiently; do they fill gaps in government capabilities without duplication?
The selection of criteria for each assessment and the relative weights given to each criterion are within each panel's discretion and can vary from program to program. Neither the committee nor the panels will make explicit budget recommendations to NASA, but will instead comment on program content, gaps in technology, and other issues outlined above.