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Review of the Science Mission Directorate's (SMD's) Draft Science Plan: Letter Report (2006)

Chapter: Appendix A: Letter of Request for Study

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Letter of Request for Study." National Research Council. 2006. Review of the Science Mission Directorate's (SMD's) Draft Science Plan: Letter Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11751.
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Appendix A Letter of Request for Study National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters Washington, D.C. 20854-0001 Reply to Attn of: SMD/Management and Policy Division APR 12 2006 Dr. Lennard A. Fisk Chair Space Studies Board National Research Council 500 5th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Dear Dr. Fisk: NASA’s Science Missions Directorate (SMD) has begun development of a Science Plan to guide the Directorate’s implementation of the 2006 NASA Strategic Plan. We also intend that this document fulfill the requirement of the Congress in the 2005 NASA Authorization Act for a plan that identifies science and mission priorities as well as addresses a number of related topics specified in the legislation. This Science Plan will serve much the same function for SMD as the Enterprise Strategy documents did for its predecessor organizations. We will also employ an analogous process in its development using community roadmaps based on decadal surveys as a starting point, and engaging science advisory groups and the Space Studies Board in review of the draft document. We plan to have a draft Science Plan available for review by June 15. I request that the Space Studies Board conduct a review of this draft and provide its assessment and recommendations for how the draft might be improved. Comments in the following areas will be particularly helpful: • Responsiveness to National Research Council’s (NRC’s) recommendations in recent reports; • Attention to interdisciplinary aspects and overall scientific balance; • Utility to stakeholders in the scientific community; and • General readability and clarity of presentation. Given the target date of mid-December for delivery of the Science Plan to Congress, it would be most useful if the Board’s comments were available by September 15. I would like to request that the NRC submit a proposal for execution of the proposed performance review by the Space Studies Board. Once agreement on the scope, cost and schedule of the proposed study has been achieved, the Contracting Officer will issue a task order for implementation. The technical point of contact for this study within SMD will be Mr. Greg Williams, who can be reached at (202) 358-0241, and We greatly value the Board’s advice, and look forward to its help in crafting our Science Plan. Sincerely, {signed} Mary L. Cleave Associate Administrator for Science Mission Directorate 20

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In response to the 2005 NASA Authorization Act and to provide a strategy document t to guide implementation of the 2006 NASA Strategic Plan in the areas of Earth and space science, the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) prepared a 2006 draft science plan. To help guide the SMD as it completes this effort, NASA asked the NRC to review the draft science plan. This letter report provides general observations about the plan, and assessments of the plan’s responsiveness to recommendations from recent NRC studies, its attention to interdisciplinary aspects and scientific balance, the plan’s utility to stakeholders, and its general readability and clarity. Finally the report presents recommendations for improving the plan.

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