The study will focus on an appraisal of equipment, facilities, and support services used for fundamental science and engineering research, as well as on the adequacy of the resulting capabilities to support NASA goals;
Spacecraft qualification equipment and facilities, as contrasted with equipment and facilities used for science and engineering research, are excluded;
The charge provides that NASA equipment and facilities be “compared to comparable laboratories elsewhere.” However, study activity will not include benchmarking other agency, university, or industry facilities; instead, comparisons with non-NASA analogues should be based on the expertise and experience of appointed committee members;
In order to constrain the scope of the activity, NASA and the NRC will agree at the time of task initiation on a subset of the field centers and of laboratories within these selected centers, for the review; and
It is expected that the assessment committee, or components of it, will conduct site visits of the facilities and equipment selected for appraisal. Task cost projections should assume visits to four centers and a meeting at which NASA representatives will brief the committee on the research and supporting facilities, services, and equipment at the remaining field centers and laboratories to be reviewed.