7.2
NASA Budget and Programs: Outside Perspectives

Senate Commerce Committee

June 7, 2006


Statement by James A. Pawelczyk, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Physiology, Kinesiology and Medicine, Pennsylvania State University


Abstract

At the midpoint between the Apollo program and a human trip to Mars, NASA’s recent reductions to scientific funding are unprecedented. In particular, the thoughtfully conceived architecture to explore the Moon, Mars and beyond has produced large reallocations of research funding that jeopardizes the stability and future of space life sciences. Given current budgets, NASA does not appear to have sufficient resources to fully engage the help of the external science community to complete the President’s Vision for Space Exploration.

Madame Chairperson and Members of the Committee:

Good afternoon. I thank you for the opportunity to discuss the changes NASA has made to its research funding. I have been a life sciences researcher for 20 years, competing successfully for the past 13 years for grants from NASA. From 1996-1998 I took leave from my academic position at The Pennsylvania State University to serve as a payload specialist astronaut, or guest researcher, on the STS-90 Neurolab Spacelab mission, which flew on the space shuttle Columbia in 1998. Since Neurolab I have had the privilege to serve as a member of NASA’s Research Maximization and Prioritization (ReMAP) Taskforce. More recently I helped evaluate NASA’s Bioastronautics Research Program for the Institute of Medicine, NASA’s International Space Station Research Plan for the National Research Council, and the progress of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI).

During a January 19, 2006 interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Mr. Griffin shared his thoughts about his first 9 months in the position of NASA Administrator. When asked about the lessons learned from the Challenger and Columbia accidents, he stated the following:

If you spend much time on this stuff and aviation accidents, a common theme is that of not listening to the signals the hardware is sending—the test results, the flight results, the dissenting opinions of the people involved. So a common theme is not listening. And I don’t mean actively shutting out. I mean being so focused on what we’re trying to do that we’re not aware of what nature is telling us [emphasis added].

Those insights are remarkably prophetic, and today I find myself before you as one of those dissenters. I share Mr. Griffin’s passion for the human exploration of space, but I must conclude with equal conviction that biological adaptation is a serious risk to an extended human presence in space, and that the scientific research necessary to ensure the health and safety of future astronaut crews beyond low-earth orbit is far from complete.

ReMAP—antecedent to the Vision for Space Exploration

For several years, NASA has recognized and responded to its need to complete necessary research in a fiscally responsible manner. In the spring and summer of 2002 NASA launched the Research Maximization and Prioritization Task Force, commonly known as ReMAP. Chaired by Rae Silver of Columbia University, the Task Force included two National Medal of Science awardees, one Nobel Prize winner, and more than a dozen members of the National Academy of Sciences, representing the breadth of translational research in the biological and physical sciences.

ReMAP was asked to prioritize 41 areas of research in the former Office of Biological and Physical Research.



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 Space Studies Board Annual Report—006 7.2 NASA Budget and Programs: Outside Perspectives Senate Commerce Committee June 7, 2006 Statement by James A. Pawelczyk, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Physiology, Kinesiology and Medicine, Pennsylvania State University Abstract At the midpoint between the Apollo program and a human trip to Mars, NASA’s recent reductions to scientific funding are unprecedented. In particular, the thoughtfully conceived architecture to explore the Moon, Mars and beyond has produced large reallocations of research funding that jeopardizes the stability and future of space life sciences. Given current budgets, NASA does not appear to have sufficient resources to fully engage the help of the external science community to complete the President’s Vision for Space Exploration. Madame Chairperson and Members of the Committee: Good afternoon. I thank you for the opportunity to discuss the changes NASA has made to its research fund- ing. I have been a life sciences researcher for 20 years, competing successfully for the past 13 years for grants from NASA. From 1996-1998 I took leave from my academic position at The Pennsylvania State University to serve as a payload specialist astronaut, or guest researcher, on the STS-90 Neurolab Spacelab mission, which flew on the space shuttle Columbia in 1998. Since Neurolab I have had the privilege to serve as a member of NASA’s Research Maximization and Prioritization (ReMAP) Taskforce. More recently I helped evaluate NASA’s Bioastronautics Research Program for the Institute of Medicine, NASA’s International Space Station Research Plan for the National Research Council, and the progress of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). During a January 19, 2006 interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Mr. Griffin shared his thoughts about his first 9 months in the position of NASA Administrator. When asked about the lessons learned from the Challenger and Columbia accidents, he stated the following: If you spend much time on this stuff and aviation accidents, a common theme is that of not listening to the signals the hardware is sending—the test results, the flight results, the dissenting opinions of the people inoled. So a common theme is not listening. And I don’t mean actively shutting out. I mean being so focused on what we’re trying to do that we’re not aware of what nature is telling us [emphasis added]. Those insights are remarkably prophetic, and today I find myself before you as one of those dissenters. I share Mr. Griffin’s passion for the human exploration of space, but I must conclude with equal conviction that biological adaptation is a serious risk to an extended human presence in space, and that the scientific research necessary to ensure the health and safety of future astronaut crews beyond low-earth orbit is far from complete. ReMAP—antecedent to the Vision for Space Exploration For several years, NASA has recognized and responded to its need to complete necessary research in a fiscally responsible manner. In the spring and summer of 2002 NASA launched the Research Maximization and Prioriti- zation Task Force, commonly known as ReMAP. Chaired by Rae Silver of Columbia University, the Task Force included two National Medal of Science awardees, one Nobel Prize winner, and more than a dozen members of the National Academy of Sciences, representing the breadth of translational research in the biological and physical sciences. ReMAP was asked to prioritize 41 areas of research in the former Office of Biological and Physical Research.

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 Congressional Testimony What was unique to ReMAP was our challenge to consider both the physical sciences and biological sciences si- multaneously. This resulted in spirited debate and intellectual foment of the highest caliber. When we completed our task, highest priority was assigned to 13 areas that informed two broad, often overlapping, goals: One is the category of intrinsic scientific importance or impact; research that illuminates our place in the universe, but cannot be accomplished in a terrestrial environment. The other goal values research that enables long-term human explora- tion of space beyond low-earth orbit, and develops effective countermeasures to mitigate the potentially damaging effects of long-term exposure to the space environment. It should be no surprise to you that over the past 17 years other review panels, both internal and external to NASA, have named similar goals. The Task Force wrestled with the question whether one goal could be prioritized over the other. In the history of the United States space program both goals have been important, though their relative importance has changed over time. The limited amount of biological and physical research that occurred during early space exploration, particularly the Apollo era, focused on the health and safety of astronaut crews in a microgravity environment. Sig- nificant research questions that did not contribute directly to a successful Moon landing received lower priority. In contrast, more regular access to space provided by the space shuttle afforded an opportunity for “basic” research to take higher priority; the proliferation of space based research in the physical and biological sciences over the past twenty years is a testament to this fact. Thus, the relative priority of these two goals of research—enabling long-term human exploration of space and answering questions of intrinsic scientific merit—has shifted during NASA’s history. This conclusion is critical, as it suggests that one goal can receive higher priority over the other, though this ranking may change depending on NASA’s definition of programmatic needs at a particular point in time. When the President announced the Vision for Space Exploration in January of 2004, the relative balance be- tween these two categories of research changed again. Items in NASA’s research portfolio that most contributed to exploration goals would take precedence over experiments with intrinsic scientific importance and impact, and substantial realignment has occurred as a result. At the same time, the Office of Biological and Physical Research, the entity responsible for funding biological and physical research at NASA, was absorbed into the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. I share Mr. Griffin’s view that aligning research with exploration goals is a good thing. However, naïve or wholesale elimination of scientific themes is not, and biological and physical research has certainly suffered from this effect. To the alarm of the scientific community, the process that began with ReMAP has taken a dangerous turn. Areas that we rated as highest priority, including those that contribute to exploration goals, have been de-scoped or eliminated completely. Where is “science” at NASA today? In many ways, the reorganization of “science” at NASA orphaned biology, and I encourage caution when you and your colleagues use the term in your discussions. Logically, “science” would seem an appropriate, generic label for research activities that occur throughout the agency. However, within NASA it appears to have a more specific meaning, often referring exclusively to the activities funded by the Science Mission Directorate, which includes the following disciplines only: • Astrophysics—the study of matter and energy in outer space. • Earth Science—the study of the origins and structure of our planet. • Heliophysics—the study of planets, interplanetary space, and the sun. • Planetary Science—the study of the origins, structure, and features of planets beyond our own. Please note that the term, “biology,” or the study of life, does not appear at all. To my more skeptical colleagues, the science of biology is disappearing at NASA. The available evidence provides some support for this conclusion. While the Science Mission Directorate has suffered modest cuts, over the past two years, funding for biological and physical research (i.e., science not managed by the Science Mission Directorate) has decreased almost 75%, from $1,049M in FY05 to $274M in the FY07 Bud- get Summit. This includes the cancellation of virtually all research equipment for the International Space Station that supports animals and plants, the elimination of 20% of the funding for external research grants, and the premature termination of 84% of these grants. Approximately 500 life science graduate students in 25 states will be affected.

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6 Space Studies Board Annual Report—006 The next generations of space life scientists perceive a bitter lesson that is difficult to assuage: as the result of a shell game of agency-wide reorganization, life science is no longer recognized or valued within NASA. Biological research is essential and obligatory to the Vision for Space Exploration I wholeheartedly endorse the President’s goal to return humans to the Moon and Mars, but the current reduc- tions in biological research funding appear sorely at odds with this goal. Simply put, the biological risks associated with exploration-class spaceflight are far from being mitigated. This conclusion is based on analysis of 30 years of NASA-sponsored research. Since the days of Skylab NASA- funded investigators conducted an aggressive and successful biological research program that was robust, compre- hensive, and internationally recognized. Beginning with those early efforts, and continuing with our international partners on the Mir and the International Space Station, we have built a knowledge base that defines the rate at which humans adapt during spaceflight up to six-months duration, with four data points exceeding one-year duration. Musculoskeletal deconditioning remains a paramount concern. In the past two years our ability to differentiate the trabecular bone network in the hip has helped us to appreciate that the risk to bone during spaceflight may be even greater than we previously anticipated. The rate of osteoporosis in astronauts equal patients with spinal cord injury, and exceeds that seen in post-menopausal women by a factor of 10 or more. Extrapolating from published studies of astronauts and cosmonauts spending up to six months in low-earth orbit, we can offer preliminary estimates of the changes that would occur if humans made a 30-month trip to Mars today: • 100% of crew members would lose more than 15% of their bone mineral in the femur and hip • Approximately 80% would lose more than 25% of their bone mineral • More than 40% would lose greater than 50% of their bone mineral • Approximately 20% would lose more than 25% of their exercise capacity • Approximately 40% would lose experience a decline in leg muscle strength of 30% or more Each of these predictions takes into the account the fact that astronauts would be using the best countermeasures available currently! To my knowledge, no engineer would accept a spaceflight system where such degradation is expected. Nor should it be so for astronauts. What is the status of NASA’s human biological risk mitigation plan? In 2005 NASA’s Chief Medical Officer asked the Institute of Medicine to evaluate NASA’s Bioastronautics Roadmap, the comprehensive plan to document and reduce the biological risks to human spaceflight. Despite the alarming data I just described to you, we found that concern for these risks varied widely among astronauts, flight surgeons, and mid-level management. None of the 183 proposed risk mitigation strategies had been implemented for spaceflight, and approximately 2/3 of these strategies were considered to be so incompletely developed that they would not be addressed further. In his 2001 book, Enlightened Experimentation: The New Imperative for Innovation, Harvard Business profes- sor Stefan Thomke offered the following four rules for enlightened experimentation: organize for rapid experimen- tation; fail early and often, but avoid mistakes; anticipate and exploit early information; and combine new and old technologies. While these principles are recognizable in NASA’s Constellation System architecture, they are wholly absent in the implementation of NASA’s Bioastronautics Roadmap. We desperately need to increase human capabilities in space by translating findings from cell culture to refer- ence organisms and mammalian models such as mice and rats to future flight crews. Translational research is the “gold standard” of the NIH, and it is what the research community, and the American people, should expect from the International Space Station. We need the capability to house and test model organisms on the ISS. But equally important, we need adequate time for crew to prepare and conduct these experiments, and that time can be found only when the ISS moves beyond the core complete configuration. The potential return is immense; the application of this research to our aging public could become one of the most important justifications for an extended human presence in space.

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 Congressional Testimony Challenges for the future Earlier this year, Congress received The National Research Council’s review of NASA’s plans for the Interna- tional Space Station, which identified several serious concerns about NASA’s prioritization process for current and planned life and physical sciences research. First, allocations to research did not appear to be based on risk, but convenience. Second, little emphasis was given to future lunar or Martian outposts, opting instead for short stays on the Moon. Third, the current ISS payload and the processes used to prioritize research areas appeared to be neither aligned with exploration mission needs nor sufficiently refined to evaluate individual experiments. Finally, no process was in place to plan or integrate future research needs that may not be recognized currently. To restore scientific credibility at NASA, a coordinated strategy is necessary. I offer several recommendations for your consideration: • irst, add sufficient funding to NASA’s budget, both to answer the questions essential to the Vision for F Space Exploration and to replace the Space Shuttle in a timely fashion. An addition of $150M would restore biological funding to the level of the President’s FY06 budget request, but a minimal biological research program, directed primarily to external investigators, could be conducted with the addition of approximately $50M/year. • econd, articulate a timeframe for delivering and completing a risk mitigation plan for humans exploring S the Moon and Mars, and vet both the plan and the timeframe with the external scientific community. • Third, develop a comprehensive plan for conducting research on board the International Space Station with- out the space shuttle, including addition of essential equipment for animal research, deployment of a crew of at least six people, and logistics that are sufficient to keep these crews safe and supplied. • Finally, establish sufficient oversight to hold NASA accountable to these goals. Madame Chairperson, members of the committee, make no mistake about this: in the long-term, we are re- taining and accumulating human risk to spaceflight in order to progress with an under-funded Vision for Space Exploration. We have an ethical obligation to our current and future space explorers, and to the American public, to do better. Given sufficient resources, I remain optimistic that NASA can deliver the rigorous translational research program that the scientific community expects, and the American people deserve. I sincerely thank you for your vigilant support of the nation's space program, and the opportunity to appear before you today. Written Testimony of Peter W. Voorhees Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University Introduction Chairwoman Hutchison, Ranking Member Nelson, and members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. My name is Peter Voorhees. I am the Frank C. Engelhart Professor and Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. I was a member of the National Research Council Space Studies Board and Chair of the Committee for Microgravity Research. Through my tenure as Chair I have become familiar with the microgravity program and many of the areas within the physical sciences that are at the core of NASA’s human exploration effort. I believe that a strong physical sciences research program is crucial to both capitalizing on NASA’s significant past investment in this area and to enabling the human spaceflight program. In 2004 President Bush provided a clear vision for NASA’s human spaceflight effort and NASA has fully embraced the goal of returning humans to the Moon and eventually sending humans to Mars. However, to accomplish these goals research in the physical sciences is necessary to gain a more complete understanding of effects of microgravity on a wide range of processes as well as develop a variety of technologies to ensure the safety and success of these missions. Only by supporting an ongo- ing physical sciences research program will NASA be able to avoid failures that could have been anticipated by an

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 Space Studies Board Annual Report—006 ongoing physical sciences research program and to implement the President’s vision in the most cost-effective and rapid fashion. The Development of the Physical Sciences Research Program The evolution of NASA’s physical sciences research program provides important lessons for how to formulate a successful research program to enable human space exploration. NASA’s physical sciences research program began as the materials processing in space effort during the Skylab era. The program was singularly focused on performing experiments in space. As a result, many of the experiments were ill-conceived and few yielded new insights into the physical phenomena that were operative in space or impacted their respective scientific communities. In the early 1990s a new paradigm for research was initiated in the fluids, materials, combustion and fundamental physics research areas. In order to attract the best researchers, a concentrated out-reach effort was undertaken and a rigorous peer review system was instituted. In addition, a large ground-based research program was created that ensured that ideas were refined and scientific questions identified that could be answered only through space flight experiments. As a result the “shoot and look” approach to performing experiments during the Skylab era was replaced by carefully conceived hypothesis driven experiments. At its peak there were approximately 500 investigators in the program and it supported 1700 research students. The 2003 National Research Council (NRC) study “Assessment of the Directions in Microgravity and Physical Sciences Research” found the quality of the investigators in the program to be excellent. On the basis of an analysis of the citations of the papers published, prominence of journals in which the papers appeared, the influence of the research on the content of textbooks, documented influence on industry and the quality of the investigators in the program, we found that the microgravity program has had a significant impact on the fields of which it was a part. For example, 37 members of the fluids program were fellows of the American Physical Society, the materials sci- ence program produced some of the most highly cited papers in the area of solidification and crystal growth, and the fundamental physics program was funding six Nobel laureates. Many billions of dollars were invested in creating this successful and influential program. NASA should take great pride in the creation of this high quality physical sciences research program in the fluids, combustion, materials and fundamental physics areas. It evolved into one of the jewels in NASA’s crown. With the growth in the quality of the program NASA became the primary source of funding for research in areas such as crystal growth, low temperature physics, and low Reynolds number and interfacial fluid flow making NASA stewards of these important and broad scientific areas. In early 2001 it became apparent that the International Space Station (ISS) program was facing major cost overruns. These financial constraints led to a major reduction in the microgravity research that had been planned for the ISS. Many of the experimental facilities that were planned were either reduced in size or delayed and the number of crew aboard the ISS was cut, making it difficult to perform experiments during the construction phase of the project. As a result, flight experiments were delayed or effectively cancelled. The catastrophic loss of the Columbia orbiter in 2003 placed even more serve restrictions on the ability to transport samples and experimental equipment to and from the ISS. The challenges posed by these recent events, the need to retire the Shuttle by 2010, as well as develop the Crew Exploration Vehicle have placed great pressures on NASA’s budget. These financial constraints have resulted in a major reduction in the size and scope of the physical sciences research program. For example, with breathtaking speed and no external input NASA eliminated the Office of Biological and Physical Research, and the Physical Sciences division within the office. The number of principal investigators has been reduced to less than 100 with still more reductions proposed. NASA’s physical sciences research effort is on the verge of elimination. FY07 is the last chance to keep physical sciences research at NASA alive. Rationales for Physical Sciences Research at NASA The raison d’être for physical sciences research at NASA lies in both the past and future. Since 1990 NASA has been investing significant resources, measured in the billions of dollars, in developing and maintaining a community of high quality researchers in the microgravity sciences arena. The focus of this research is to use the microgravity environment to study a broad range of physical phenomena. The research spans from the basic to the applied, and will continue to impact both the scientific communities of which the research is a part as well as industry. As a result

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 Congressional Testimony of the rigorous peer review of this research, important discoveries have been made in fields ranging from the wetting and spreading dynamics of fluids on surfaces to relativity and precision clock experiments. Moreover, many of the space flight experiments that flow from this program require the unique microgravity environment that is provided by the ISS and thus make use of a national asset that has been very costly to create. Ending the physical sciences research will squander the investment made in building the physical sciences research program and negatively im- pact the ability to perform high quality research on the ISS. Just as important as this past investment is the likely impact of the physical sciences program on the future of NASA’s human exploration effort. A vibrant physical sciences research program is the key to successfully accom- plishing the President’s Vision for Space Exploration, since important technology required for space exploration is controlled by gravitationally related phenomena that are poorly understood. This lack of understanding hampers the design of a vast array of devices such as those for heat transfer, the prevention and detection of fires, fluid handling, controlling the transport and movement of Lunar and Martian soils, and materials repair such as brazing and weld- ing, among many others. The need for research in these areas is discussed in detail in the NRC report “Microgravity Research in Support of Technologies for the Human Exploration and Development of Space and Planetary Bodies.” Given the central importance of these areas in fostering the human exploration of space effort, the impact of a physi- cal sciences research program on one of NASA’s central missions could thus be profound. As illustrations, I shall focus on two such examples: heat transfer systems and fire prevention and detection. Thermal control is critical for spacecraft; excess heat must be rejected into space and moved from one section of the craft to another. In the past NASA relied on single-phase heat transfer systems, for example systems that involve only a liquid to transfer heat. However, there are clear advantages of employing systems that involve both a liquid and vapor (two phases), such as those used on the earth. This allows one to employ the significant amount of heat required to transform a liquid to a vapor or a vapor to a liquid in the heat transfer process. This significant heat of vaporization or condensation allows the heat to be transferred in a far more efficient manner than with a single- phase system. The successful operation of such systems on the earth frequently requires that the less dense vapor sit above the more dense liquid which, due to the presence of gravity, occurs naturally in a terrestrial environment. However this density driven stratification would not be present in space. This is but one of the many challenges of using such systems in space. Nevertheless, the advantages of using such a system in a spacecraft are significant. Given the enhanced efficiency, a multiphase heat transfer system would save considerable space and mass. Heat pipes have also been proposed as possible heat transfer devices. These have the advantage of being completely pas- sive where the motion of the fluid is driven by the surface tension of the liquid, but they also involve evaporation and condensation to transfer heat. The central reason why heat transfer systems that involve multiphase flow are not more commonly used in spacecraft is that the dynamics of flow in systems with more than one phase, such as a vapor and liquid, in a micro- gravity or partial earth’s gravity environment are not well understood. A ground-based and flight program focused on the dynamics of flow in these multiphase systems could provide the insights to allow these higher efficiency devices to be used in the human spaceflight effort. While there are constraints on the mass and space available in the limited-duration environment of the Shuttle or ISS, the constraints placed on long-duration flights to Mars or even the Moon are even more stringent. Thus, the availability of high efficiency heat transfer devices, that occupy less space and have a smaller mass than existing devices, would open up much needed space for food and water. It is only through research in this area that these devices will be embraced by the spacecraft engineering community. A second example of the importance of physical sciences research is in preventing and detecting fires in a reduced gravity environment. We have had thousands years of experience detecting and fighting fires on Earth. In contrast our experience with combustion phenomena in microgravity or partial Earth’s gravity is limited to at most fifty years. As a result, our understanding of the flame propagation issues that impact spacecraft safety is very limited, and research in this area continues to uncover new and unexpected results. For example, flames can spread along surfaces in the opposite direction to that on earth, flames extend over electrical insulation 30 to 50 percent faster in microgravity than under normal conditions, and smoldering under microgravity conditions is less bright and more difficult to detect than on the ground. All of these results were determined from basic research conducted in only the past 10 years and have had a documented effect on the fire fighting procedures on spacecraft. Given the limited number of experiments performed in microgravity and the surprising results thus produced, there is much still to be learned. Although fires on a space craft are an unlikely event, if one should occur it could be catastrophic not only for the mission but for the entire human exploration of space effort. The absence of any safe refuge on a spacecraft and,

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0 Space Studies Board Annual Report—006 possibly, lunar base makes detecting and preventing small fires essential. Moreover, the design of lunar habitats that mitigate the effects of possible fires requires knowledge of how fires propagate in structures in partial Earth’s gravity. Physics based simulation codes exist for fires in Earth-based structures, but none exist for micro or partial gravity environments. Given our lack of understanding of how fires behave in microgravity environments and the critical importance of this to the human exploration effort, I can think of few stronger rationales for a vigorous combustion research program. Such a program must involve an active ground-based program and, due to the long duration of many combustion experiments, ready access to the ISS may be required. Going Forward In order to leverage the past investment in physical sciences research and to ensure a successful future for the human exploration effort it is crucial that a broad spectrum of physical sciences research in NASA be retained. The importance of continuity in a research program cannot be overemphasized. Continued support of this community is essential in engaging the best researchers, producing the students interested in working with NASA upon gradu- ation, and performing the ground-breaking research that is essential to accomplishing NASA’s human spaceflight goals. The level of support needed for this continuity is quite modest given that a cadre of 250 investigators each of whom requires $130K would lead to a $32.5M per year program, a very small investment compared to the $1B of the former Office of Biological and Physical Research. This represents the minimum support needed to keep a physical sciences research program alive at NASA. Many researchers have recently had their programs terminated. If this support is not made available in the very near future these scientists will be reluctant to return to micrograv- ity research and the remaining researchers will also likely leave the program. As a result NASA will find itself in the same position as it was in the late 1980s: without an organized and influential microgravity research program. Unfortunately, NASA will never have the time or the resources to recreate a physical sciences research community. Therefore it is absolutely imperative that NASA fund physical sciences research at no less than $32.5M for FY07. To avoid many of the pitfalls of the past, it is essential that the program involves both ground-based research and spaceflight experiments. One of the crucial lessons of the early microgravity program is that only through the testing and refinement that is possible with ground-based theoretical and experimental research can experiments be performed in space that will yield reliable results. It is essential that both the ground-based and spaceflight research be rigorously-peer reviewed. The future of research at NASA is being threatened as never before. It is important to realize that funding physi- cal sciences research will not diminish in any way NASA’s future plans for human exploration. Rather it will be an essential enabler in this effort. Finally, continuation of the funding will allow NASA to reap the benefits of many past years of funding of high impact research that is focused on gravitationally related phenomena. Thank you very much for the opportunity to testify today. I look forward to responding to your questions.