selection and mission development to design a mission to study the signal. The resulting proposal would be considered by the 2020 decadal survey. The committee estimates a budget requirement of $60 million for the development, to be triggered in the event of a convincing detection.
The Space Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) is a Japanese-led 3.5-meter infrared telescope that will operate from 5 to 210 microns. SPICA will address many of this survey’s science priorities, including understanding the birth of galaxies, stars, and planets as well as the motion of matter through our own interstellar medium. A competed U.S. science and instrument contribution at an estimated level of $150 million over the decade is recommended.
NASA’s core research programs, from theoretical studies to innovative technology development, are fundamental to mission development and essential for scientific progress. They provide the long-term foundation for new ideas that stretch the imagination, and they lay the groundwork for far-future vision missions. They support the maturation of new technologies needed for nearer-term Explorer and flagship missions. They provide the means to understand and interpret scientific results. Maintaining these core activities has a high priority for the survey committee, and the budget allocations should not be allowed to decrease to address overruns in the costs of large and medium missions. In addition, the following unranked specific augmentations are recommended.
Astrophysics Theory Program. To enhance the scientific return from operating missions and inform the investment in new ones, an augmentation of $35 million to the current funding level for the decade is recommended.for the decade is recommended.
Definition of a Future Ultraviolet-Optical Space Capability. To prepare for a future major ultraviolet mission to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope, it will be necessary to carry out a mission-definition program. A budget of roughly $40 million over the decade for mission studies and initial technology development is recommended.
Intermediate Technology Development. A gap has emerged within NASA between long-term so-called “Blue Skies” investigations and shorter-term mission-specific technology development. Formally this gap is associated with technology readiness