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An International • Discussion of Space Observatories Report of 1 Conference held at Willlam$burg, VIJginia January 26-29, 1976 NATIONAL EUROPEAN ACADEMY of SCIENCE SCIENCES FOUNDATION NAS-NAE 0CT2 7 1976 LIBRARY
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7 /., -013 6 c. I Not/« by the N411ofl41 A<»demy o!Sde11«1 lbe proj..t that ,, tho oubjed or tiUs report Wll approved by the Go-nln& Board or the NadonaJ Research Council, whose mcmbert are dr1wn from the Councib or lhe Na- tional Academy or Sclenoeo, the National Academy or Enslneerlns, and the lnstltute or MecUc:lne~ The membets of the Committee rcspon.slblc for the repon ~-ere thoRn (os tbdr speclaJ competences and with rep.rd for appropriate balance- . This report has been reviewed by a poup other than the 1uthon acx:ordin& to proco- dwes approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering.. and the lnrtitute of Meclicine. Noll« by tllt Europt11n Scltncc FOUIIdltioll Preparatory work for the conference in Willlamsbur1 wa1 Jtarted by tbe then pro- vision~! Space Science Advisory Board for Europe, oct up by the Royal Society or London before October 19·75 , when thb Boe.rd WIJ formally trand'ormed into the Sp~c:e Science Committee of the European ScM-nee fou ndation. Afle.r the eonfet"tnce, ctraft reporu were considered by 1he ESF Spuc Sdence Committee and the £SF Astronomy Committee, and various remarka of these committoe1 were taken Into account. Tho publication of the report has b«n recommended by the chairmen or thete two committee.t and by the Presidtnt of the ESF. AJtZiloble [rom European Scieoce Foundation Space Science Board I , Q1al ~ Mamesia 2101 Constitution Avenue 1'-67000 Sllubou!J WIJhington, D.C. 20418 France COVER: The spiral galAxy In 0.MI Yt,.tici, Mesoiet 51. (/'/toto courtuy of l/4U Obmw· toriQ)
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PREFACE This is a brief repon of a discussion organiz.ed jointly by the Space Science Committee (sse) of the European Science Foundation and the Space Science Board (ss B) of the National Academy of Sciences-Nationlll Research Council for the purpoae of clarifying certain matters relating to permanent obaervt· tories in space, particularly the Large Space Telescope, that arise from Inter· national considerations. The gencsb of this discussion was a U.S. congTessional suggesllon that other nationo(specillcally the European Space Agency and European national space provams) ahould contribute to LST funding. In response, the National Aero- nautics and Space Admlnbt,.tion (NASA) instituted negotlatlons with the European SpKe Aaency (£SA), the resulu of which have not yet been made public, but that probably involve both instrument construction and contribu· lions to scienur,. ope,.tions. Thb has been a government-to-government negotiation, and h has ruulted in cenain concerns among scientific communities on both sides of the Atlantic. We felt that the consultative structure establiahed between the ss B and the sse could be used to provide a foundation for coordinated advice from the science community to the aeverallnterested governmenu and agencleo. An example of a muunderstanding and its resolution through consultation is touched upon In the recommendation "Instruments for LST ." ESA and NASA manogcments follow different traditions, including different approaches to instrument procurement. The associated scientific communities each under· stAnd their own systems but feel less comfortable with the other as a means of ensuring the best pouible performance of the LST . The recommendation represtntl a compromU., avoiding unacceptAble insistence on chanii'Sin man- lll'ment practices and yet affording alternative grounds for confidence that a good result will be Khieved. The U.S. and European asuonomy communities are unequally prepared for a discussion of the LST ,Iince the question of European invohoementls of re- cent ori&ln. The aim of our diacussion was therefore modest : to establish a foundation of basic Ideas upon which scientists cou.ld build, through NASA, ESA, and national governments. The conference considered existing plans for the LST and Ill Instruments as a basis for lu judgments. It did not consider alternatives, panly because iii
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time did not permit and partly because the extensive work performed by NAsA and its advisory groups appears to hove been carried out well and responsibly. It also did nol consider matters Internal to U.S. or European space programs. There are, of course, many such matters, some of crucial importance to the future of space science, and they are frequently discussed in other publicalions of I he Space Science Board. The discussion addressed the following general considerations: I. The exlenl 10 which lhe LST can be judged lobe the mosl important advance prescnlly in prospect for optical astronomy. 2. Access to space observatories by tile best qualified individuals regard· less of country of residence. 3. Questions stemmi.ng from multinational funding. 4. The logistics of the interface between tile space observatory and tile science community. 5. Preparedness of tile community for new modes of operation associated with space observatories. The Conclusions and Recommendations of this report record tile con· ference views as to the geneml nature of the important questions and tlleir solutions. The first item is a judgment of value fundamental to international cooperation at any level. Detailed work on tile otller items is already under way, principally under the aegis of a Space Science Board study of institu· tiona! arrangements for the LST to be carried out during tile coming summer through a workshop chaired by Dr. Donald Hornig. RICHARD GOODY. Chairman Space Science Board National Academy of Sciences HA R R IE MASSEY, Choimuzn Space Science Committee European Science Foundation iv
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Attendees PARTICIPANTS BERTOLA,F. Os:.ttrvatorio At tronomico Padij:a, Ital y BURBIOOE, E. M. Unfftnlty or Cilllfornia S..n Oit:JO, California COURTES,C. ObKrYa1olre de Manrille Mandle, France DANIELSON, R. Pri.neeton Univtrtlty Princeton, New Jersey Obterv~l ory DORLINC, E. B. MuDard Space Science Dorklftl, Sun-ey, U.K. Laboratory FIELD, C. B. Cc:nta for Astrophylia CIUTibrt