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11 Preconditions and Infrastructure Many developments in technology~ome of them extremely challenging-will be needed if the program recommended here is to be successful. Specific needs for each discipline are identified and discussed in the individual task group reports. The steering group endorses those recommendations. This study focuses on large-scale scientific undertakings. These cannot be implemented unless a certain set of precondi- tions, listed below, are satisfied. ~ These undertakings must be built on a solid foundation of supporting research and technology. This foundation must include vigorous theoretical and ground-'oased laboratory studies. Scientific progress does not begin and end with the construction of flight hardware and the acquisition of data. Nor is it sufficient to con- fine theoretical analysis or laboratory support to preparation for specific missions or the interpretation of mission results. Theoret- ical and laboratory studies establish the framework in which data can be understood; they are not captives of specific missions, nor can they be started and stopped at will. Stable funding for these supporting activities will pay off handsomely. ~ For very similar reasons, smati-scale, exploratory Light ac- tiv~ties such as the present Explorer, Observer, Spartan, and subor- 82
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83 bital programs must be allowed to Fourth. The st - Hog Coup form sees no qualitative change in the way progress ~ made in science. Thus, we will continue to require missions with short implementa- tion tunes. These missions may be designed to answer questions of detail, exploit findings of larger projects, or attack targets of special opportunity. Furthermore, participation in space science by graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and young university faculty members requires projects that can be completed In one to three years. The steering Croup believes that progress in space science criticality depends on the full participation of universities because that Is where much of the reservoir of scientific talent Te- ~ides. The university space science community functions best in a program that includes short-term, small-scale projects. Thus, in order to foster space science and to ensure the viability and par- ticipation of that community, the space science program should; be structured to include such small-scale projects untie ready access to space flight. . .. . . . . . . Balance in the research program must be maintained among 9TOUp~ at universities industrial laboratories, and government cen- ters in conducting space research. ~ The laboratories used for space research should be amply furnished with state-of-the-art equipment. Currently, the condition of equipment in most university laboratories can only be described as abysmal. . A generic requirement in most of the fields covered by this study is for detectors that are more advanced than those now available. Advanced programs for detector technoloov should he established and nurtured. . ~ ,, Computational facilities play ~ essential role in gathering, storing, and analyzing data. They also enable theorists to develop models and to test their models against experimental and obser- vational data. Computer facilities in the space program must be maintained at a state-of-the-aTt level, with regard to both hardware and software. As this report is being written, the nation's access to space has been severely curtailed. This situation accents the need for a sturdy, redunclant system of acquiring access to space. Launch system* delivery mechanisms, space platforms, and other such developments should never be looked upon as ends in themselves. Rather, they should be treated as tools to support well-defined objec- tives. The science objectives have been the subject of this report. .
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84 If the conditions set forth in this chapter are met, the steering group is confident that the nation wiD be prepared at the turn of the century to embark on the scientific program recommended in this report, and that the future of the national program in space will be as bright as its past. Some of the participants In this study were present when the space age in science began at White Sands 40 years ago. The program designed here, along with the achievements of the past four decades, Is a legacy they leave to their children .