17  

See National Research Council, Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003, p. 2.

18  

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Space Science, “2003 Space Science Enterprise Strategy,” Draft 2, February 6, 2003, Review Draft, p. 26.

19  

See, for example, Space Studies Board, National Research Council, Supporting Research and Data Analysis in NASA’s Science Programs: Engines for Innovation and Synthesis, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1998.

20  

National Research Council, Supporting Research and Data Analysis in NASA’s Science Programs: Engines for Innovation and Synthesis, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1988, pp. 3–4, 63–64.

21  

Although theory is mentioned in passing in the section on R&A in the OSS strategy document, it is not given the same prominence as, for example, laboratory astrophysics or suborbital programs. The Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee’s decadal report recommended significant changes in NASA support for theory and modeling. The specific NRC recommendations were that (i) 2 to 3 percent of the cost of flight projects be devoted to theory (for a $2 billion program like the James Webb Space Telescope, this would mean $40 million to $60 million in theory support over a ~10-year period); (ii) a National Astrophysics Theory postdoctoral program be established (10 3-year postdoctoral positions each year, or ~$2.25 million per year); and (iii) the Astrophysics Theory Program be significantly augmented (+$3 million per year). The NRC committee believed strongly that the ensuing theoretical activities would materially improve NASA’s return on investments in space. See National Research Council, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001, pp. 132–135.

22  

National Research Council, New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy, prepublication copy, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2002, p. 297.

The report states the following on research and analysis programs:

“It is largely through the work supported by research and analysis (R&A) programs within the Office of Space Science that the data returned by flight missions is converted into new understanding, advancing the boundaries of what is known. The research supported by these programs also creates the knowledge necessary to plan the scientific scope of future missions. Covered under this line item are basic theory, modeling studies, laboratory experiments, ground-based observations, long-term data analysis, and comparative investigations. The funds distributed by these programs support investigators at academic institutions, federal laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and industrial corporations. R&A furnishes the context in which the results from missions can be correctly interpreted. Furthermore, active R&A programs are a prime breeding ground for principal investigators and team members of forthcoming flight missions.

“Healthy R&A programs are of paramount importance and a necessary precondition for effective missions. This conclusion has been stated repeatedly and forcefully before,…and is shared by NASA’s Office of Space Science itself. The three R&A “clusters” (i.e., Origin and Evolution of Solar System Bodies, Planetary Systems Science, and Astrobiology and Planetary Instrumentation) most closely associated with solar system exploration were supported at the level of $96 million in FY 1999. This level is now expected to rise at about 3 percent per year above the underlying inflation rate for several years. This proposed rise is included in the President’s FY 2003 budget. Nevertheless, serious problems remain with these programs. The proposal oversubscription is typically 3:1, which—we believe—is too high since then new proposals can rarely be funded. Also, the availability of authorized funds is often subject to delays and, in recent times, the value of the median grant has fallen to below $50,000 per annum, a level generally too small to support a researcher or a tuition-paid graduate student….

“We agree with the Space Studies Board recommendation that NASA should routinely examine the size and number of grants to ensure that the grant sizes are adequate to achieve the proposed research…. We support the budgetary proposals that would steadily grow solar system exploration R&A programs. The SSE Survey recommends an increase over the decade in the funding for fundamental Research and Analysis programs at a rate above inflation to a level that is consistent with the augmented number of missions, amount of data, and diversity of objects studied.



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17   See National Research Council, Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003, p. 2. 18   National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Space Science, “2003 Space Science Enterprise Strategy,” Draft 2, February 6, 2003, Review Draft, p. 26. 19   See, for example, Space Studies Board, National Research Council, Supporting Research and Data Analysis in NASA’s Science Programs: Engines for Innovation and Synthesis, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1998. 20   National Research Council, Supporting Research and Data Analysis in NASA’s Science Programs: Engines for Innovation and Synthesis, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1988, pp. 3–4, 63–64. 21   Although theory is mentioned in passing in the section on R&A in the OSS strategy document, it is not given the same prominence as, for example, laboratory astrophysics or suborbital programs. The Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee’s decadal report recommended significant changes in NASA support for theory and modeling. The specific NRC recommendations were that (i) 2 to 3 percent of the cost of flight projects be devoted to theory (for a $2 billion program like the James Webb Space Telescope, this would mean $40 million to $60 million in theory support over a ~10-year period); (ii) a National Astrophysics Theory postdoctoral program be established (10 3-year postdoctoral positions each year, or ~$2.25 million per year); and (iii) the Astrophysics Theory Program be significantly augmented (+$3 million per year). The NRC committee believed strongly that the ensuing theoretical activities would materially improve NASA’s return on investments in space. See National Research Council, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001, pp. 132–135. 22   National Research Council, New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy, prepublication copy, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2002, p. 297. The report states the following on research and analysis programs: “It is largely through the work supported by research and analysis (R&A) programs within the Office of Space Science that the data returned by flight missions is converted into new understanding, advancing the boundaries of what is known. The research supported by these programs also creates the knowledge necessary to plan the scientific scope of future missions. Covered under this line item are basic theory, modeling studies, laboratory experiments, ground-based observations, long-term data analysis, and comparative investigations. The funds distributed by these programs support investigators at academic institutions, federal laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and industrial corporations. R&A furnishes the context in which the results from missions can be correctly interpreted. Furthermore, active R&A programs are a prime breeding ground for principal investigators and team members of forthcoming flight missions. “Healthy R&A programs are of paramount importance and a necessary precondition for effective missions. This conclusion has been stated repeatedly and forcefully before,…and is shared by NASA’s Office of Space Science itself. The three R&A “clusters” (i.e., Origin and Evolution of Solar System Bodies, Planetary Systems Science, and Astrobiology and Planetary Instrumentation) most closely associated with solar system exploration were supported at the level of $96 million in FY 1999. This level is now expected to rise at about 3 percent per year above the underlying inflation rate for several years. This proposed rise is included in the President’s FY 2003 budget. Nevertheless, serious problems remain with these programs. The proposal oversubscription is typically 3:1, which—we believe—is too high since then new proposals can rarely be funded. Also, the availability of authorized funds is often subject to delays and, in recent times, the value of the median grant has fallen to below $50,000 per annum, a level generally too small to support a researcher or a tuition-paid graduate student…. “We agree with the Space Studies Board recommendation that NASA should routinely examine the size and number of grants to ensure that the grant sizes are adequate to achieve the proposed research…. We support the budgetary proposals that would steadily grow solar system exploration R&A programs. The SSE Survey recommends an increase over the decade in the funding for fundamental Research and Analysis programs at a rate above inflation to a level that is consistent with the augmented number of missions, amount of data, and diversity of objects studied.

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    “R&A programs are not presently—and, in our opinion, should not be—tied to specific mission goals. Thus, individual research projects do not correspond to particular missions. Nevertheless, as the breadth and depth of the space exploration missions increase, the R&A programs should expand and be redirected correspondingly. Therefore, in a broadest sense, R&A programs must be responsive to the current mission opportunities even if they are not rigidly coupled to them. “Previous NRC studies have shown that after a serious decline in the early- to mid-1990s…the overall funding for R&A programs in NASA’s Office of Space Science has, in recent years, climbed to approximately 20 percent of the overall flight mission budget…. Figures supplied by NASA’s Solar System Exploration program show that the corresponding value for planetary activities is closer to 25 percent and is projected to stay at about this level for the next several years. The SSE Survey believes that this is an appropriate allocation of resources. “Finally, to maintain and enhance the scientific productivity of the entire solar system exploration enterprise and to ensure the creation of new intellectual capital of the highest quality in the field, the SSE Survey recommends the initiation of a program of Planetary Fellows, i.e., a postdoctoral program analogous to the Hubble and Chandra fellowships which have done so much to nurture the next generation of astronomers and astrophysicists. The purpose of this program would be to allow the brightest young investigators the opportunity to develop independent research programs during their most creative years. These would be prestigious, multiyear fellowships, based solely on highly competitive research proposals and tenable at any U.S. institution.” 23   National Research Council, The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics, prepublication copy, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2002, pp. 2–5, 2–6. The report states: “Over the past decade and more, theory and modeling have played an increasingly important role both in defining satellite missions and other programs and in interpreting data through the development of new physical models. The enhanced role of theory and modeling is a consequence of the development of powerful computational tools that have facilitated the exploration of the dynamics of complex nonlinear plasma systems at both large MHD spatial scales and kinetic microscales. Before the advent of these tools it was not possible to study these dynamical processes through analytic techniques alone. “In the coming decade, the deployment of clusters of satellites and large arrays of ground-based instruments will provide a wealth of data over a very broad range of spatial scales. Theory and computational models will play a central role, hand in hand with data analysis, in integrating these data into first-principles models of plasma behavior. Examples of the catalyzing influence of theory and computation on the interpretation of data from observational assets are many. A case in point is recent research in the area of magnetic reconnection, where new theoretical developments have spurred the successful search for signatures of kinetic reconnection in satellite data. “Theory and modeling activities have further importance in the application of the results from solar and space physics to allied fields such as astrophysics and fusion energy sciences. The solar-heliosphere system is the space physicist’s laboratory wherein a wide variety of plasma processes, parameters, and boundary conditions are encountered (cf. Chapter 4). Many of these phenomena can be sampled directly and the results applied to systems where direct measurements are either very difficult or altogether infeasible. The identification of the critical dimensionless parameters controlling plasma dynamics through analysis combined with state-of-the-art computation is central to the successful extrapolation to differing environments, where absolute parameters may be very different from those in the solar-heliosphere system. “NASA’s Sun-Earth Connection Theory program has been very successful in focusing critical-mass theory and modeling efforts on specific topics in space physics. The NSF has long encouraged and supported theoretical and modeling investigators through its grants program. Theoretical work provides the community with state-of-the-art computational models that are developed and utilized with support from all the funding agencies. This theoretical understanding is used extensively for interpreting individual measurements as well as for developing physics-based data assimilation procedures for diverse but coupled parameters. “In view of the strongly coupled nature of the solar-heliosphere system and the complementary objectives of the solar and space physics programs of the different federal agencies, two interagency initiatives are being proposed by the committee. One of these—the Virtual Sun—will incorporate a systems-oriented approach to theory, modeling, and simulation that will ultimately provide continuous

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    models from the solar interior to the outer heliosphere…. The Virtual Sun will be developed in a modular fashion by focused attacks on various physical components of the solar-heliosphere system and on cross-cutting physical problems. The solar dynamo and three-dimensional reconnection are areas ripe for near-term concentration because they complement the planned ground- and space-based measurement programs. “The Coupling Complexity Research Initiative…will address multiprocess coupling, nonlinearity, and multiscale and multiregional feedback in space physics. The program advocates both the development of coupled global models and the synergistic investigation of well-chosen, distinct theoretical problems. For major advances to be made in understanding coupling complexity in space physics, sophisticated computational tools, fundamental theoretical analysis, and state-of-the-art data analysis must all be integrated under a single umbrella program. Again, this initiative is motivated by the anticipated ground-and space-based measurements that will provide spatially distributed data that must be incorporated into a single understanding of the physical processes at work in different volumes of geospace.” 24   National Research Council, Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003, p. 172. 25   See National Research Council, Assessment of the Usefulness and Availability of NASA’s Earth and Space Science Mission Data, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001, pp. 7, 76. 26   NASA town meeting presentation at the American Astronomical Society, January 8, 2003. 27   National Research Council, The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics, prepublication copy, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2002, p. ES-12. 28   National Research Council, The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics, prepublication copy, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2002, pp. 7–9 and 7–10. 29   Letter from the Association of American Universities and the Council on Governmental Relations to Dr. Gerald Epstein, Assistant Director for National Security, Office of Science and Technology Policy, July 17, 2000; Letter from the Association of American Universities and the Council on Governmental Relations to the Honorable John H.Marburger, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, July 11, 2002; Statement by Bruce Alberts, President, National Academy of Sciences, Wm.A.Wulf, President, National Academy of Engineering, and Harvey Fineberg, President, Institute of Medicine, “Current Visa Restrictions Interfere with U.S. Science and Engineering Contributions to Important National Needs,” December 13, 2002. 30   Other technology areas that will need early attention include thermal protection system (TPS) technologies and associated structural materials used for atmospheric entry missions, aerocapture technology development, and developments needed to meet the anticipated future Deep Space Network (DSN) demand. 31   There is some discussion on p. 52 of how mission technology needs for the anticipated mission set will be used to decide which technologies to develop, but there is no mention of metrics for prioritization or funding levels. No time lines are given in any of the technology discussions, even though this should be relatively easy to do for the Mars program. Some time lines are needed for critical technologies to show that those technologies will be ready when needed for missions. The Mars objective “…determine if life exists…” (p. 32) fails to mention that there are numerous complex issues related to biohazards and Mars sample quarantine associated with eventual Mars sample return. These issues will take time to clarify, and adequate quarantine and analysis facilities must be developed in parallel with technologies for sample return. It will require 7 years or more to develop and construct a suitable facility, effectively a clean room inside a BSL-4 containment laboratory. See Space Studies Board, National Research Council, The Quarantine and Certification of Martian Samples, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2002.

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    Mechanisms for importing technologies from outside NASA appear to be oriented primarily toward requiring potential technology providers to actively approach NASA. Significant advantages may accrue from having NASA actively identify and approach potential technology providers outside NASA and the aerospace industry. 32   Some comments that may guide revision of the Education and Public Outreach section: 1. The proposed plan (p. 20, line 14) discusses that the goal is to meet the needs of educators, but the means by which the needs of the educators will be assessed are not specified; 2. Items in the Future Efforts List are still too vague; 3. In general, there is no specific plan on how any of the EPO activities will be accomplished. 33   National Research Council, The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics, prepublication copy, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2002, pp. 6–3, 6–5. 34   Space Studies Board, National Research Council, New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003—in press; Space Studies Board, National Research Council, The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003—in press. Board on Physics and Astronomy, Space Studies Board, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001; Board on Physics and Astronomy, National Research Council, Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003.

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Attachment 1 National Aeronautics and Space Headquarters Washington, DC 20546–0001 January 7, 2003 Reply to Attn of: S Dr. John McElroy Chair, Space Studies Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 Dear Dr. McElroy: The Office of Space Science is currently working to update the Space Science Enterprise strategic plan, with the objective of issuing a new version in September 2003. Subcommittees of the Space Science Advisory Committee (SScAC) have prepared new mission roadmaps and we held a workshop to discuss an updated strawman science and mission program in November. We are now assembling a draft revised plan and will circulate it for community comment. I would like to request that, as for the 2000 plan 3 years ago, the Space Studies Board review the new draft plan and provide us with comments in the following areas: Responsiveness to the Board’s guidance on key science issues and opportunities in recent Board reports; Attention to interdisciplinary aspects and overall scientific balance; Identification and exposition of important opportunities for education and public outreach; Integration of technology development with the science program; and General readability and clarity of presentation. Helpful suggestions in other areas would also be welcome. According to our present schedule, a draft of the plan should be available for your review by the end of January 2003. We also expect to be able to brief the plan to the Board and relevant committees at your request. Because we plan to present a final draft to the SScAC at their meeting in June 2003, leading to production of the report beginning in July 2003, we would need to have a formal report from the Board expressing its findings and suggestions no later than mid-to late-May 2003.

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We look forward to having the Board’s inputs to this vital activity. Please contact Dr. Marc Allen at (202) 358–0733 if you have any questions about this request. Sincerely, Edward J.Weiler Associate Administrator Space Science