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Space Studies Board Annual Report-1993 (History and Charter) Space Studies Board Annual Report—1993 1 History and Charter of the Board ORIGIN OF THE SPACE SCIENCE BOARD The National Academy of Sciences was chartered by the Congress, under the leadership of President Abraham Lincoln, to provide scientific and technical advice to the government of the United States. Over the years, the advisory program of the institution expanded, leading to the establishment of the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine, and of the National Research Council, today's operational arm of the Academies of Sciences and Engineering. After the launch of Sputnik in 1957, the pace and scope of U.S. space activity grew dramatically. Congress created the National Aeronautics and Space REPORT MENU Administration (NASA) to conduct the nation's ambitious space agenda, and the NOTICE Academy-Research Council created the Space Science Board. The original FROM THE CHAIR charter of the Board was established in June 1958, three months before final CHAPTER 1 enactment of the legislation creating NASA. The Space Science Board has CHAPTER 2 provided independent scientific and programmatic advice to NASA on a CHAPTER 2 (cont.) continuous basis from its inception until the present. CHAPTER 3 CHAPTER 4 REORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD-CREATION OF THE SPACE STUDIES BOARD In 1988, the Space Science Board undertook a series of retreats to review its structure, scope, and goals. These retreats were motivated by the Board's desire to more closely align its structure and activities with evolving government advisory needs, and by its assumption of a major portion of the responsibilities of the disestablished Space Applications Board. As a result of these retreats, a number of new task groups and committees were formed, and several committees were disbanded and their portfolios distributed to other committees. The Committee on Data Management and Computation and its activities were file:///C|/SSB_old_web/an93ch1.htm (1 of 6) [6/18/2004 10:34:25 AM]

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Space Studies Board Annual Report-1993 (History and Charter) terminated. The Committee on Planetary Biology and Chemical Evolution was also dismantled, but its responsibilities were distributed to other discipline committees and task groups. The charters of the remaining committees were revised, and an executive council of the Board was created to assist the chair of the Board in managing Board activities. Recognizing that civilian space research now involves federal agencies other than NASA (for example, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Departments of Energy (DOE) and Defense (DOD), and the National Science Foundation (NSF)), it was decided to place greater emphasis on broadening the Board's advisory outreach. This broadening is fully consistent with the Board's founding charter in 1958. CHARTER OF THE BOARD The basic elements of the charter of the Board remain those expressed by National Academy of Sciences President Detlev Bronk to Dr. Lloyd Berkner, first chair of the Space Science Board, in a letter of June 26, 1958: We have talked of the main task of the Board in three parts-the immediate program, the long-range program, and the international aspects of both. In all three we shall look to the Board to be the focus of the interests and responsibilities of the Academy-Research Council in space science; to establish necessary relationships with civilian science and with governmental science activities, particularly the proposed new space agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency; to represent the Academy-Research Council complex in our international relations in this field on behalf of American science and scientists; to seek ways to stimulate needed research; to promote necessary coordination of scientific effort; and to provide such advice and recommendations to appropriate individuals and agencies with regard to space science as may in the Board's judgment be desirable. As we have already agreed, the Board is intended to be an advisory, consultative, correlating, evaluating body and not an operating agency in the field of space science. It should avoid responsibility as a Board for the conduct of any programs of space research and for the formulation of budgets relative thereto. Advice to agencies properly responsible for these matters, on the other hand, would be within its purview to provide. Thus, the Board exists to provide advice to the federal government on space research and to assist in coordination of the nation's space research undertakings. Since its restructuring in 1988 and 1989, the Board has assumed similar responsibilities with respect to space applications. The Board also addresses scientific aspects of the nation's program of human spaceflight. Recommendations may be prepared either in response to a government request or on the Board's own initiative, and are released after review and approval by the National Research Council (NRC). In general, the Board develops and documents its views based on findings of its discipline committees or interdisciplinary task groups that conduct studies of varying duration and extent. These committees and task groups are composed of prominent researchers and recognized experts whose appointments are reviewed and approved according to a formal procedure of the NRC. On occasion, the Board file:///C|/SSB_old_web/an93ch1.htm (2 of 6) [6/18/2004 10:34:25 AM]

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Space Studies Board Annual Report-1993 (History and Charter) itself considers major issues in plenary session and develops its own statements. The Board also provides guidance, based on its publicly established opinions, in testimony to Congress. The Board's overall scope of activity has several components: discipline oversight, interdisciplinary studies, international activities, and advisory outreach. OVERSIGHT OF SPACE RESEARCH DISCIPLINES The Board has responsibility for strategic planning and oversight in the numerous subdisciplines of space research, including space astronomy, Earth studies from space, microgravity science, solar and space physics, space biology and medicine, and planetary and lunar exploration. This responsibility is discharged through an organization of separate discipline committees, and includes preparation of strategic research plans as well as assessments of progress in these disciplines. The standard vehicle for providing long-term research guidance is the research strategy report, which has been used successfully by the Board for many years. Committees also prepare formal assessment reports that examine progress in a discipline in comparison with published Board advice. From time to time, in response to a sponsor or Board request, or to circumstances requiring prompt and focused comment, a committee may prepare and submit a brief report in letter format. All committee reports undergo Board and NRC review and approval prior to publication. Board and committee reports are formally issued as reports of the Board and of the National Research Council. Individual discipline committees may be called upon by the Board, from time to time, to prepare specialized supporting material for use by either the Board or its interdisciplinary committees or task groups. INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES While the emphasis over the years has been on discipline research planning and evaluation, the reorganization of the Board recognized a need for crosscutting technical and policy studies in several important areas. To address these needs, the Board creates internal committees of the Board and ad hoc task groups. Internal committees, constituted exclusively of Board members, are formed to carry out short-period study activities or to serve as initial planning bodies for topics that may require subsequent formation of a regular committee or task group. Task groups resemble discipline committees in composition and operation, except that they have predetermined lifetimes, typically two to three years, and clearly delimited tasks. file:///C|/SSB_old_web/an93ch1.htm (3 of 6) [6/18/2004 10:34:25 AM]

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Space Studies Board Annual Report-1993 (History and Charter) INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATION The Board continues to serve as the U.S. National Committee for the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). The U.S. vice president of COSPAR serves as a member of the Board, and a member of the Board's staff serves as Executive Secretary for this office. In this capacity, the Board participates in a broad variety of COSPAR panels and committees. As the economic and political integration of Europe has progressed, so also has the integration of Europe's space activities. The Board has collaborated successfully with the European space research community on a number of ad hoc joint studies in the past and is now seeking in a measured way to deepen its advisory relationship with this community. To date, the Board's approach has been regular exchange of observers at meetings of the Board and of the European Space Science Committee (ESSC), under the European Science Foundation. In the future, the Board hopes to initiate cooperative advisory exchanges with the space research programs of Russia and Japan. ADVISORY OUTREACH The Space Science Board was conceived to provide space research guidance across the federal government. Over the years, the Board's agenda has focused on NASA's space science program. Since the Board's reorganization, however, several influences have acted to expand the breadth of the Board's purview, both within NASA and outside it. First, it is recognized that the incorporation in a major way of scientific objectives into human flight programs such as the shuttle and space station programs, and possibly a human exploration initiative, necessitates additional interfaces with responsible offices in NASA. The Board is attempting to strengthen its links to the space technology office in NASA through collaborative activities, such as joint workshops, with the NRC's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board. Stronger links to NASA's space operations, international affairs, and commercial programs offices may also be needed in the future. Second, the Board's assumption of space applications responsibilities from the dissolved Space Applications Board has implied a broadening of its advisory audience to other agencies; an example is NOAA, which is responsible for operational weather satellites. In response, NOAA has become a cosponsor of the Board's Committee on Earth Studies. Third, the maturation of some of the physical sciences may lead to file:///C|/SSB_old_web/an93ch1.htm (4 of 6) [6/18/2004 10:34:25 AM]

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Space Studies Board Annual Report-1993 (History and Charter) progressive integration of space and nonspace elements, suggesting a more highly integrated advisory structure within the NRC. One example is the solar- terrestrial community, where the Board's Committee on Solar and Space Physics has operated for several years in a "federated" structure with the NRC's ground- based Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Research. Another example is astronomy, where the 1991 report of the NRC's Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee1 suggested a close relationship between space astronomy and ground-based astronomy, the latter primarily supported by the NSF. The Board therefore established, in 1992, a new Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics. This committee operates as a joint committee of the Space Studies Board and the Board on Physics and Astronomy. Another area of possible future disciplinary association is the biomedical research community, including elements supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NASA's space biology research program. Fourth, it has become apparent that new participants may become involved in space exploration, for example, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). Their involvement originates partly from an interest in development of space technology, and partly as a result of declassification of some defense technologies in response to the changing geopolitical environment. The BMDO has expressed the intention of conducting several space missions of potential scientific interest; the Board has performed an initial assessment of one of these (the Clementine mission to the Moon and an asteroid) and is contemplating establishing a sponsorship relationship with the BMDO. The Board expects to continue to reach out beyond NASA to other federal agencies, seeking to establish advisory and corresponding sponsorship relationships, where appropriate. 1The Decade of Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1991. file:///C|/SSB_old_web/an93ch1.htm (5 of 6) [6/18/2004 10:34:25 AM]