The SSB Executive Committee (XCOM) met on August 18-19 at the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute in La Jolla, California, for its annual strategic planning session. The XCOM met with Carl Wieman (OSTP), Marc Allen (NASA), and Jeff Bingham (Senate staff) to get views from some of their stakeholders. This session included a discussion on the impacts of recent reports, future areas of study for the board, and the role of the board and standing committees. The members also discussed lessons learned and impacts from the decadal surveys, the midterm assessments of the decadal survey process, and the cost and technical risk assessments that have been done for the recent decadal surveys in the context of a workshop to be held in 2012. The XCOM was briefed by Wendy Kohrt, co-chair for the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space, on the impacts of the report Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration and by Ann Karagozian on the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board report The Future of Launch Vehicles for the U.S. Air Force. XCOM members were also briefed by SSB staff member Sandra Graham on the plans for a generational study on the human spaceflight program, which will be led by the ASEB in cooperation with the SSB and sister boards from the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education.

The SSB met November 8-9, 2011, at the National Academies Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center in Irvine, California, to receive briefings from NASA, representatives of different scientific disciplines, and NRC staff and committee chairs to update them on the progress of current SSB studies. In addition, staff and board members welcomed four new members to the board.

Prior to SSB meeting, the SSB and the BPA held a joint session at the BPA’s board meeting on November 7, where they were briefed by representatives of NASA, NSF, the Department of Energy, and staffers from the relevant committees of the Senate and House of Representatives. Both boards were updated on the progress of the James Webb Space Telescope, which dominated much of the discussion of the two boards over the course of each board’s meeting.

Topics presented to the SSB on November 8 included NASA’s views on access to space for space science (presented by Mike Luther, NASA), hosted payloads (presented by Steven Volz, NASA), and the planning for the human spaceflight study requested in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.

The final day of the November SSB meeting was dedicated to a session on life and physical sciences research in space, with a focus on research on the International Space Station (ISS). This session followed up on the 2011 release of the joint SSB-ASEB decadal survey on life and physical sciences in space, Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era (available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13048). With an eye toward stewardship of the decadal survey, the SSB received scientific presentations from David Weitz of Harvard University and Scott Trappe of Ball State University on soft matter research in microgravity and skeletal muscle health with spaceflight, respectively. The session and board meeting concluded with presentations on NASA’s plans for science and engineering on the ISS (presented by Gale Allen, NASA Office of the Chief Scientist) and an overview of the newly created Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications Division by acting director Brad Carpenter.

SPACE STUDIES BOARD MEMBERSHIP

July 1, 2010–June 30, 2011

Charles F. Kennel, University of California, San Diego (chair)

John M. Klineberg,* Space Systems/Loral (retired) (vice chair)

Steven J. Battel, Battel Engineering

Yvonne C. Brill, Aerospace Consultant

Elizabeth R. Cantwell, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Andrew B. Christensen, Dixie State College of Utah

Alan Dressler, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution

Jack D. Fellows, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

July 1, 2011–June 30, 2012

Charles F. Kennel, University of California, San Diego (chair)

John M. Klineberg, Space Systems/Loral (retired) (vice chair)

Mark R. Abbott, Oregon State University

Steven J. Battel, Battel Engineering

Yvonne C. Brill, Aerospace Consultant

Elizabeth R. Cantwell, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Andrew B. Christensen, Dixie State College of Utah

Alan Dressler, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution

Jack D. Fellows, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

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* Term began in February 2011.



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