In conclusion, the committee found the field of astronomy in the United States to be in generally good health. The United States still leads the field. New discoveries continue to be made at a quickening pace. Observational capability continues to grow rapidly with the construction and deployment of ground- and space-based instruments of remarkable power. There is strong public interest in astronomy. However, the dramatic shift in the majority of research grant support from NSF to NASA over the past two decades has led to a system in which the funding for subfields that cannot rely on NASA support has eroded somewhat and the funding for the field as a whole is vulnerable to the unexpected termination of a major NASA mission.



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