Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 135
Nasa ’s Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation A Letter of Request National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters Washington, DC 20546-001 SEP 11 2006 Reply to Attn of: SMD/Astrophysics Division Dr. Lennard A. Fisk Chair Space Studies Board National Research Council 500 5th Street NW Washington, DC 20001 Dear Dr. Fisk: I request that the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board, in partnership with the Board on Physics and Astronomy, submit a proposal for the purpose of providing an assessment of the missions comprising the NASA Science Mission Directorate’s Beyond Einstein Program. This assessment, performed on behalf of NASA and the Department of Energy, would include a recommendation regarding which of these missions should be lauched fist, bases on the criteria given below. This study would also be used by NASA Headquarters as input for future decisions regarding the support and sequencing of the remaining Beyond Einstein missions, should such information be needed before the recommendations of the next Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey become available. We would require a report from such a study by September 8, 2007, to support our budget formulation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. The Beyond Einstein Program is defined in the NASA roadmap document Beyond Einstein: From the Big Bang to to Black Holes (2003). It was developed with broad community input, and was informed by the recommendations of the National Research Council (NRC) Decadal Survey, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium (2001), and the NRC report Connectiong Quarks with the Cosmos (2003). Additional support for the elements of the Beyond Einstein Program is found in the National Science and Technology Council’s report of the Interagency Working Group on the Physics of the Universe, A 21st Century Frontier of Discoveru: The Physics of the Universe (2004). The goal of this program is to explore the physics of the Universe, with and emphasis on the physics of cosmogeny and gravity/spacetime. The beyond Einstein Program mission suite relevant to this study consists of two Einstein Observatiories, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and Constellation-X (Con-X), and three Einstein Probes, the Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM), the inflation Probe, and the Black Hole Finder Probe.
OCR for page 136
Nasa ’s Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation At the present time both LISA and Con-X are being funded at a low level for technology development, with current extimated launch dates in the 2010’s. A small amount of funding had been allocated to preliminary mission concept studies for the Einstein Probes, and now NASA is about to fund three JDEM concept studies at the few million dollar level for completion in 2008. Funding for a Beyond Einstein mission start is anticipated in FY 2009. Determining which of the five Beyond Einstein mission should be selected for this start involves several factors, scientific impact being of primary importance, but also including technological readiness and mission partnership issues. The tasks of the study committee will be: To assess the five proposed Beyond Einstein missions (Constellation-X, LISA JDEM, Inflation Probe, and Black Hole Finder probe) and recommend which of these five should be developed and launced first, using a funding wedge that is expected ot begin in FY 2009. The criteria for these assessments include potential scientific impact within the context of other existing and planned space-based and ground-bases missions; realism of preliminary technology and management plans, and cost estimates. To assess the Beyond Einstein missions sufficiently so that they can act as input for any future decisions by NASA or the next Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey on the ordering of the remaining missions. This second task element will assist NASA in its investment strategy for future technology development within the Beyond Einstein Program prior to the results of the Decadal Survey. I request that the NRC submit a proposal for execution of the study by the Space Studies Board, in cooperation with the Board on Physics and Astronomy. Once agreement on the scope, cost, and schedule of the proposed study has been achieved, the Contracting Officer will issue a task order for implementation. The technical point of contact for this study within the Science Mission Directorate will be Cr. Michael H. Salamon, who can be reached at 202-358-0441 Sincerely, Mary L. Cleave Associate Admistrator for Science Mission Directorate Cc: Dr. Anneila I. Sargent, Chair, NRC Board on Physics and Astronomy