Congress directed NASA to arrange for an independent assessment of NASA laboratory capabilities; as a result, the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Laboratory Assessments Board (LAB), in collaboration with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) and SSB, formed the ad hoc Committee on Assessment of NASA Laboratory Capabilities to carry out a review of NASA’s laboratories to determine whether they are equipped and maintained at a level adequate to support NASA’s fundamental science and engineering research activities.

The committee held its third and final meeting on January 18-19 to develop its final report. Consensus was achieved on February 23, and a draft report was submitted for NRC review on February 26. The final report, Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research, was submitted to the sponsor, NASA, on April 28 and released to the public on May 11. Briefings were provided during the month of May to NASA, House and Senate staffers, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget. The report’s Summary is reprinted in Chapter 5.


John T. Best, U.S. Air Force Arnold Engineering Development Center (co-chair)

Joseph B. Reagan, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired) (co-chair)

William F. Ballhaus, Jr., The Aerospace Corporation (retired)

Peter M. Banks, Astrolabe Ventures

Ramon L. Chase, Booz Allen Hamilton

Ravi B. Deo, EMBR

Neil A. Duffie, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Michael G. Dunn, Ohio State University

Blair B. Gloss, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (retired)

Marvine P. Hamner, LeaTech, LLC; George Washington University; Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute

Wesley L. Harris, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Basil Hassan, Sandia National Laboratories

Joan Hoopes, Orbital Technologies Corporation

William E. McClintock, University of Colorado

Edward D. McCullough, The Boeing Company (retired)

Todd J. Mosher, Sierra Nevada Corporation

Eli Reshotko, Case Western Reserve University

John C. Sommerer,1 Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory

James M. Tien, University of Miami

Candace E. Wark, Illinois Institute of Technology


John F. Wendt, Senior Program Officer, ASEB (study director)

James P. McGee, Director, LAB

Arul Mozhi, Senior Program Officer, LAB

Liza Hamilton, Administrative Coordinator, LAB

Eva Labre, Program Associate, LAB


The SSB and the NRC’s Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA), initiated the astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey, Astro2010, to survey the field of space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics, recommending priorities for the most important scientific and technical activities of the decade 2010-2020. The survey took place over 18 months and comprised two overlapping phases. The first phase was mostly concerned with establishing


1 Resigned from committee January 18, 2010.

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