Respond to Budget Pressures and Shortfalls

•   Delay downstream missions in the event of small (~10 percent) cost growth in mission development. Protect the overarching observational program by canceling missions that substantially overrun.

•   Implement a system-wide independent review process that permits decisions regarding technical capabilities, cost, and schedule to be made in the context of the overarching science objectives. Programmatic decisions on potential delays or reductions in the capabilities of a particular mission could then be evaluated in light of the overall mission set and integrated requirements.

•   Maintain a broad research program under significantly reduced agency funds by accepting greater mission risk rather than descoping missions and science requirements. Aggressively seek international and commercial partners to share mission costs. If necessary, eliminate specific missions related to a theme rather than whole themes.

•   In the event of large budget shortfalls, re-evaluate the entire set of missions in light of an assessment of the current state of international global Earth observations, plans, needs, and opportunities. Seek advice from the broad community of Earth scientists and users and modify the long-term strategy (rather than dealing with one mission at a time). Maintain narrow, focused operational and sustained research programs rather than attempting to expand capabilities by accepting greater risk. Limit thematic scope and confine instrument capabilities to those well demonstrated by previous research instruments.

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