Paul Hertz reviewed the president’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget request, and he presented a table from the president’s FY2012 budget request of specific budget allocations for the NASA recommendations from NWNH, projected through FY2016. Hertz stated that the $20 million to $30 million for the NIR detectors would constitute (and be reallocated from) about 20 percent of the augmentation of funds planned for FY2013-FY2014 within the run out of the president’s FY2012 budget request for allocation by the division for NWNH priorities in the same time frame. He concluded that the contribution would thus have a small, albeit non-negligible, impact on those programs. Hertz also stated that expenditure of these funds on Euclid hardware would not impact the launch schedule for WFIRST, since according to current NASA budget projections, significant expenditure on the WFIRST mission would only commence in the 2017-2018 time frame, when JWST construction spending rolls off. As part of its participation in Euclid, NASA would also support a science team at an annual level of $1.5 million to $3 million. He also noted that because the budget table he displayed to the committee was composed last year it included both the IXO and LISA missions; however, those projects were no longer being supported, and those budget lines would probably go to fund concepts being studied under current requests for information. Hertz also said that the WFIRST-development budget item was not included on the chart but is of the order of $4 million per year. Finally, he showed a slide with quickly assembled NASA-estimated costs for the specific possible Euclid-related contributions in which the committee expressed interest on the meeting’s first day—including NIR detectors, $20 million to $30 million; NIR detectors and characterization, $40 million to $50 million; reaction wheels, approximately $10 million; filter wheel, $20 million to $25 million; and supporting a U.S. science team, between $15 million to $30 million. He reminded the committee that a Guest Observer program and a U.S. science center to support involvement in Euclid are not being discussed with ESA as part of the current discussions. In the discussion that followed, Hertz clarified that NASA and ESA have discussed NASA’s providing either the detectors, the reaction wheels, or the filter wheels, but not multiple hardware contributions. He said that ESA would prefer that the United States contribute the NIR detectors, and NASA had specifically discussed with ESA a hardware contribution that is linked to the science. When asked, Hertz also noted that NASA has not been involved in discussions with the EC, nor with NSF or the DOE, on the need for cooperation with ground-based surveys such as LSST, Pan-STARRS, or the Dark Energy Survey.
Final Discussion Summary
In the final discussions, Paul Hertz (NASA) reminded the committee that the 17 current U.S. scientists involved in the EC do not have the right to share data outside the EC, and that part of what NASA would get from becoming a partner in Euclid in the manner described at this meeting would be data access for the entire U.S. science community. Hertz said that while a NASA-selected Euclid science team would be relatively small, it would be openly competed through peer review so that any U.S. scientist would have a chance to be on the team. Hertz also said that NASA has not discussed putting a U.S. scientist on the ECB. A question arose about how the ECB is appointed and Jason Rhodes (JPL) explained to the committee that the EC is self-organizing and created the ECB.
The discussion transitioned back to the hardware contribution, and various attendees gave their opinions and impressions on the relative merits of each. As the open session came to a close, the discussion concluded with final remarks on the 10-percent science return for U.S. scientists, where Hertz said that the inclusion of that statement in the request from ESA was meant to clarify that NASA would have an appropriate role in the science, and he reminded the committee that the details of the science return will be discussed by the EST.