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Space Studies Board

Annual Report 2007



Washington, D.C.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2007

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The Space Studies Board is a unit of the National Research Council, which serves as an independent advisor to the federal government on scientific and technical questions of national importance. The National Research Council, jointly administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, brings the resources of the entire scientific and technical community to bear through its volunteer advisory committees. Support for the work of the Space Studies Board and its committees and task groups was provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration contract NNH06CE15B, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Contracts DG133R04CQ0009 and DG133R07SE1940, United States Geological Survey Grant 05HQGR0104, National Reconnaissance Office Contract NRO000-04-C-0174, and National Science Foundation Grant AST-0513177.

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From the Chair As 2007 comes to a close, the Space Studies Board is in the midst of celebrating its 50th year. As part of this celebration, the Board issued a CD containing all of its reports during these past 49 years. It is an amazing compilation, a testimony to the hard work and reasoned thought of the thousands of scientists and engineers who have made our reports possible. It is a testimony also to the breadth of our activities and to the influence that we have. The activities in 2007 have been as important as in previous years, if not more so. These are turbulent times in the space program, and there is a continuing need for reasoned advice. Congress, NASA, and other federal agencies call upon us to consider the strategic issues that have been the hallmark of the Board’s activities, as well as to provide advice on tactical issues of immediate importance. We endeavor to respond in a timely manner to all requests. The year ahead and 2009 may be among the most turbulent for the space program. The presidential election and the ensuing transition to a new administration presages fundamental changes to the space program. It is very important that the Space Studies Board maintains its historic level of activity and continues to provide sound advice so that our nation can achieve a space program of unparalleled achievement. L.A. Fisk Chair Space Studies Board iii

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Contents FROM THE CHAIR iii 1 CHARTER AND ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD 1 The Origins of the Space Science Board, 1 The Space Studies Board Today, 2 Collaboration With Other National Research Council Units, 5 Assuring the Quality of SSB Reports, 5 SSB Audience and Sponsors, 5 SSB Outreach and Dissemination, 7 Internship Program, 8 2 BOARD AND STANDING COMMITTEES: ACTIVITIES AND MEMBERSHIP 9 Space Studies Board, 9 Highlights of Space Studies Board Activities, 9 Space Studies Board Membership, 11 U.S. National Committee for COSPAR, 13 Standing Committees, 13 Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, 13 Committee on Earth Studies, 15 Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life, 15 Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, 18 Committee on Solar and Space Physics, 19 Space Research Disciplines without Standing Committee Representation, 21 3 AD HOC STUDY COMMITTEES: ACTIVITIES AND MEMBERSHIP 25 Assessment of Solar System Exploration, 25 Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars, 26 Astronomy Science Centers: An Assessment of Best Practices and Guiding Principles for the Future, 27 Beyond Einstein Program Assessment, 27 Earth Science and Applications From Space: A Community Assessment and Strategy for the Future, 28 Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration, 32 NASA Astrophysics Performance Assessment, 32 Review New Opportunities in Solar System Exploration, 33 

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i Contents Review the NASA Astrobiology Institute, 34 Scientific Context for the Exploration of the Moon, 34 Strategy to Mitigate the Impact of Sensor Descopes and Demanifests on the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft, 35 4 WORKSHOPS, SYMPOSIA, MEETINGS OF EXPERTS, 36 AND OTHER SPECIAL PROJECTS Colloquium on Astrobiology and Mars Exploration, 36 Forging the Future of Space Science: International Public Seminar Series, 36 Issues in Science and Technology Workshop Series, 37 Workshop on Decadal Science Strategy Surveys, 37 Workshop on Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft, 38 Workshop on Research Enabled by the Lunar Environment, 39 Workshop on Societal and Economic Impacts of Severe Space Weather Events, 39 Workshop on Space Science Activities and ITAR, 39 Workshop on U.S. Civil Space Policy, 40 5 SUMMARIES OF MAJOR REPORTS 41 5.1 A Performance Assessment of NASA’s Astrophysics Program, 42 5.2 An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars, 44 5.3 Assessment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, 51 5.4 Building a Better NASA Workforce: Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration, 55 5.5 Decadal Science Strategy Surveys: Report of a Workshop, 63 5.6 Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, 66 5.7 Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System, 79 5.8 Grading NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program: A Midterm Review, 86 5.9 The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems, 94 5.10 NASA’s Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation, 97 5.11 Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report, 104 5.12 Portals to the Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers, 106 5.13 The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon: Final Report, 110 6 CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY 116 6.1 National Imperatives for Earth and Climate Sciences, 118 6.2 National Imperatives for Earth Science Research, 125 6.3 Overview Hearing: Balance of Funding at NASA, 130 6.4 NASA’s Space Science Programs: Review of Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Request and Issues, 134 6.5 NASA’s Earth Science and Applications Programs: Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Request and Issues, 148 6.6 U.S. Weather and Environmental Satellites: Ready for the 21st Century?, 157 7 CUMULATIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SSB REPORTS: 1958-2007 162

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Space Studies Board Chairs Lloyd V. Berkner (deceased), Graduate Research Center, Dallas, Texas, 1958−1962 Harry H. Hess (deceased), Princeton University, 1962–1969 Charles H. Townes, University of California at Berkeley, 1970−1973 Richard M. Goody, Harvard University, 1974–1976 A.G.W. Cameron (deceased), Harvard College Observatory, 1977−1981 Thomas M. Donahue (deceased), University of Michigan, 1982−1988 Louis J. Lanzerotti, American Telephone & Telegraph Co., Bell Laboratories, 1989−1994 Claude R. Canizares, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1994–2000 John H. McElroy (deceased), University of Texas at Arlington, 2000–2003 Lennard A. Fisk, University of Michigan, 2003– Space Studies Board Vice Chairs George A. Paulikas, The Aerospace Corporation (retired), 2003–2006 A. Thomas Young, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired), 2006– ii

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