Appendixes



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Portals to The Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers Appendixes

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Portals to The Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers This page intentionally left blank.

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Portals to The Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers A Tabulated Characteristics of the NASA Astronomy Science Centers CENTERS AND THEIR MISSIONS The charge to the committee included a request for “a comparative review of current astronomy science centers in terms of the kinds of roles and services that they provide, their size (e.g., budget, staff), the extent to which they utilize centralized or distributed approaches to their architecture, the roles and status of their staff, the nature of their host or governing institution, governance structure, how they were established by NASA (e.g., sole source versus competition).” In response, the committee collected and compared information on the centers specifically mentioned in the charge: the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC), which services the Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO); the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which services the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and is working on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mission; the Spitzer Science Center (SSC), which services the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST); the RXTE guest observer facility (GOF), which services the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) mission; the XMM–Newton GOF, which provides services for U.S. users of the X-ray Multimirror Mission–Newton (XMM–Newton), a mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) in which NASA participates; and the Michelson Science Center (MSC), which conducts a variety of tasks, most related to optical interferometry, including work for the developing Space Interferometry Mission (SIM). This is not a complete list of NASA astronomy science centers. For example, it does not include the centers that supported the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer, and the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) when they were operating missions, nor does it include the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopy Explorer (FUSE), which has a guest observer program. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe mission is not included, although it does support archival research. Other principal investigator (PI) missions such as the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), Swift, the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer, and the Submillimeter-Wave Astronomy Satellite were outside the scope of the study. The High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) were considered not on their own but as the umbrella structures for science centers. The list does, however, include the examples—large and small, for existing and developing missions—required for a compara-

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Portals to The Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers tive study. This appendix presents in tabular form the characteristics of these seven centers, as compiled from material supplied by the centers. Tables A.1 and A.2 are organized into operating missions and missions in development. Space Telescope Science Institute and the Hubble Space Telescope The STScI was founded in 1981, following a competition, to serve users of the HST. It is located on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University. The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is a related location, where engineering support and flight operations are conducted. ESA, the European partner in the HST, has a science center at the headquarters of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany, as well as staff at STScI. The governing institution of STScI is the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), a private, not-for-profit consortium of 32 U.S. universities that provides oversight and community input. STScI’s operation by AURA, under contract from NASA through the GSFC, gives it a degree of independence from NASA not enjoyed by the science centers operated by the GSFC itself; this arrangement was specifically recommended by an NRC study.1 STScI was the first of the flagship science centers founded to support major NASA astronomical missions—specifically, the NASA Great Observatories—and its mode of operation has been followed by the large mission science centers that came later. NASA is planning for 5 more years of HST operations after the planned shuttle servicing mission in late 2007/early 2008. Without this servicing mission, the probable remaining lifetime for scientific operations is about 3 years. The HST archive is expected to continue to serve the international community for many years after science data cease to be acquired. STScI also has been designated by NASA as the science and operations center for JWST, whose development is led by GSFC. This activity is expected to grow in the interval leading up to launch of the JWST, currently planned for 2013. Chandra X-ray Center CXC was established in 1991, following a competition, to support users of the CXO. It is located at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The Marshall Space Flight Center holds and oversees the contract for CXC. CXC’s governing institution is the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution. SAO conducts a mix of government and contract and grant-funded work. In principle, and barring a catastrophic failure, the CXO could have a very long lifetime. Spitzer Science Center SSC was founded in 1997, without competition but with review of the assignment by the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) science working group, to support users of the SST. It is located at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and is a component of the IPAC, an umbrella organization for infrared astronomy that was founded in 1986 to support users of the Infrared Astronomy Satellite. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a related location where flight operations are conducted; its governing institution is Caltech. The SST has a limited lifetime determined by the cryogens required for cooling the detectors. NASA’s Level 1 requirement on mission lifetime is 2.5 years, which has already 1 National Research Council, 1976, Institutional Arrangements for the Space Telescope. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences.

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Portals to The Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers TABLE A.1 Characteristics of Astronomy Science Centers Associated with Selected Current Missions Umbrella Organization/Center CXC STScIa IPAC/SSC HEASARC Mission CXO HST SST XMM– Newtonb RXTE NASA mission budget (million $)c 61.0 92.0 78.0 9.5 6.0 Center budget (million $),dincluding 53.3 77.6 61.7 7.4 5.9 EPO 2.5 5.0 1.9 0.2 0.1 Grantse 11.7 26.5 33.1 5.9 1.9 Total staff (FTE)f 238.1 264.7 140.7 7.0 25.7 Flight operations 61.5 155.0 57.2 0.0 16.0 General operationsg 150.3 28.6 45.2 5.0 8.7 (Amount of total dedicated to research) (17.0) (22.0) (16.6) (0.7) (4.9) Administrative support: management, information technology, grants 12.4 55.2 31.7 1.2 0.7 EPO 13.9 25.9 6.6 0.8 0.3 Number of fellows 13 34 14 0 0 Number of users served (2004) ~900 ~1,800 ~1,000h 320 261 Number of user grants (2004)i 196 275 270 130 57 Number of mission-related refereed papers (2004) 250 600 89 360 132 Archive           Total size (Tb) 2.6 24.9 22.8 0.71 1.4 Annual ingress (Tb) 0.3 4.4 2.5 0.15 1.0 Number of downloads per year 44,000 20,300 100,000j 1,100 14,000 NOTES: CXC, Chandra X-ray Center; CXO, Chandra X-ray Observatory; EPO, education and public outreach; FTE, full-time equivalent; HEASARC, High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center; HST, Hubble Space Telescope; IPAC, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center; RXTE, Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer; SSC, Spitzer Science Center; SST, Spitzer Space Telescope; STScI, Space Telescope Science Institute; XMM–Newton, X-ray Multimirror Mission–Newton. aSTScI has a contract to operate the Multimission Archive at Space Telescope Science Institute (MAST), $3 million annually, which is not included in this table or in the budget total shown. The MAST archive contains 10 Tb of data from IUE, GALEX, FUSE, and other missions. bXMM–Newton is a European mission and flight operations are the responsibility of ESA. cThe NASA mission budget includes science and mission operations costs at the science centers and grants to the community plus: science and mission operations costs at the related NASA centers; industrial contractors; and PI sustaining engineering. It does not include new PI-led instrument development, servicing mission costs, or foreign contributions. dThe total budget for the science centers themselves; that is, only those items shown in italics in footnote c. eThe amount shown as grants includes funds granted for theory and/or data analysis to PIs, legacy teams, guest observers, and fellows, as well as the support of the fellowship positions. fNumber of total FTE for HST at STScI includes 15 FTE funded by ESA. It does not include indirect staff even though their cost is contained in the total budget. This is done to make a fair comparison with the Chandra and Spitzer centers. The cost for staff with this function (human resources, accounting, purchasing, etc.) is covered by an overhead applied to salaries at the Chandra and Spitzer centers, with the overhead cost contained in their total budget. As a result, these overhead functions do not appear in their staff numbers. It does not include flight operations staff even thought their cost is contained in the total budget. Again, this is done to make a fair comparison with the Chandra and Spitzer centers. At Spitzer and Chandra, flight operations are contracted to JPL and Marshall Space Flight Center, respectively. gIncluding staff time for research. hThe number of users served shown for Spitzer is for 2005 and was derived by counting all PIs, co-investigators, etc., and dividing by three on the assumption that each individual is counted three times on average. iThe number of grants listed represents the number of PIs; separate grants made to co-PIs have not been included. The total number of astronomers sharing the support for observing programs is obviously larger than the number of grants. jThe table gives the number of observation data sets requested per year. As each download request may contain several observations, this number may be larger, by definition, than those for the other centers.

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Portals to The Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers TABLE A.2 Characteristics of Astronomy Science Centers Associated with Selected Space Missions Under Development   STScI IPAC/MSC Umbrella Organization/Center Mission JWST SIM and Other NASA-Funded Activities in Optical Interferometry Center budget (million $),a including 9.4 11.8 EPO   2.7 Grants   2.5 Total staff (FTE)b 49.7 41.3 General operations 39.9 39.3 Administrative support: management, information technology, grants 9.7 2.0 EPO 0.1 0.0 NOTES: FTE, full-time equivalent; IPAC, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center; JWST, James Webb Space Telescope; MSC, Michelson Science Center; SIM, Space Interferometry Mission; STScI, Space Telescope Science Institute. aThe total budget for the science centers themselves; that is, only science and mission operations costs at the science centers, grants to the community, and PI sustaining engineering. bNumber of total FTE does not include indirect staff at MSC even though their cost is contained in the total budget. This is done to make a fair comparison with the other centers. The cost for staff with this function (human resources, accounting, purchasing, etc.) is covered by an overhead applied to salaries at MSC, with the overhead cost contained in the total budget. As a result, these overhead functions do not appear in MSC staff numbers. been passed, but it is estimated that SST could operate 5 to 6 years from the launch in August 2003. Following that, SSC will continue to support the Spitzer data archive, a community research program with Spitzer archival data, and is currently developing plans for operating the short-wavelength channels of the Infrared Array Camera (3.6 and 4.5 µm) in an extended mission. When the Spitzer extended mission ends, after 2012, IPAC will support the Spitzer data archive. Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer The RXTE science center was founded in 1995, without competition. It is located at GSFC, a government organization, which is its governing institution. X-ray Multimirror Mission–Newton XMM–Newton, a mission of ESA, was founded in 1997, without competition. The European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, is a related location. The governing institution of the U.S. center is located at GSFC, a government organization. Space Telescope Science Institute/James Webb Space Telescope In 1999, NASA determined that technical, budget, and schedule risk in JWST development would be minimized by placing the JWST science and operations center at STScI, to build on the HST heritage and to exploit the numerous synergies with that mission. The center is located on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University. Its governing institution is AURA, a private, not-for-profit research management organization owned by 32 U.S. universities. GSFC is a related location where JWST development is led.

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Portals to The Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers Michelson Science Center MSC was founded in 2000 as a collaboration between Caltech and JPL to support users of SIM and to serve as the center for NASA’s efforts in the detection and characterization of planetary systems. Assigned without competition by NASA Headquarters, SIM will be managed, implemented, and operated by JPL, with science operations at MSC. MSC also conducts other activities supported by NASA: science community development through fellowships, workshops, and conferences; single-dish observing on the Keck Telescope for NASA programs; the Keck Interferometer; the Palomar Interferometer Test Bed; NASA observing programs on the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer; and archiving of a variety of data sets related to planet finding, including data taken with the High Resolution Echelle Spectrograph on the Keck Telescope. MSC is a component of IPAC. JPL and Caltech jointly provide direction and oversight of MSC, which is located on the campus of Caltech, its governing institution. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CENTERS Tables A.1 and A.2 present information on the astronomy science centers. This information gives their size and an idea of the scope of the mission in terms of budget, staffing, size of the user community, the archive, their education and public outreach (EPO) program, and grant support to users. While the diversity of the science centers makes it difficult to compare them, their broad characteristics become clear. The data come from NASA or from the centers themselves. The amounts of money are in millions of dollars (2005), and personnel are counted as full-time equivalents (FTEs). Archive statistics are given in terabytes of data. Umbrella Organization/Center and Mission The tables list the centers by name and also list the umbrella organization to which some centers belong. One center, the STScI, is itself an umbrella organization. Originally established as the science center for the HST, it is now responsible for JWST, the Multimission Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute (MAST), and other contracts. In all cases the table only gives data for the mission shown. NASA Budget for Centers The budget recorded by NASA for the science center of one of its astronomical missions differs from the budget on which the center operates. The NASA amount is what is sent to the NASA field center responsible for the mission. That field center either operates the mission’s science center itself or contracts with a third party to operate it. A NASA center spends the difference between the two budget amounts on a variety of activities, which include science and mission operations costs at the center and the costs of industrial contracts. It does not, however, pay for developing the instruments for a PI-led mission nor, in the case of HST, for servicing mission costs. Nor are foreign contributions included. Center Budget The amounts shown in the tables are the operating budgets for FY 2005. In all but one case the total reflects the amounts for EPO and grants to the user community, including the costs of fellowship programs.

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Portals to The Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers Total Staff The tables give total staff in FTEs and break the total into various categories. The different organizational structures of the centers make comparison across these categories problematical, and caution should be exercised in drawing conclusions based on this breakdown. EPO is an exception in that it is an activity that can be reliably identified and broken out, and the numbers shown for EPO are a reasonable indicator of effort. Fellows The number of fellows supported in FY 2005 by centers that have fellowship programs is shown. The fellowships can be taken up at any participating institution, so the numbers do not indicate how many fellows are at the science center itself, nor do they indicate the number of postdoctoral fellows who may be present at the science center. Number of Users Served As an indicator of the size of the community served by a center, Table A.1 lists the number of individuals, counted once, who were PIs or co-investigators on an approved observing or archive proposal in 2004. This number includes foreign investigators. Number of User Grants Table A.1 shows the number of grants to users for data analysis in 2004. Because only PI grants are shown, not grants to co-investigators as well, the numbers here reflect the number of observing programs rather than the total number of people supported, which is greater. Number of Mission-Related Refereed Papers Table A.1 gives the number of mission-related publications in refereed journals for the year 2004. Obviously, this number is influenced by how the center defines “mission related.” Caution should be exercised in drawing conclusions based on this metric. Archive The total size, annual ingress, and number of data requests (downloads) for 2005 are given. The number of downloads shown for CXC has been reduced by ~20 percent, the total requested by a single science data center in China, to more accurately reflect the usage by the broad astronomical community.