Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the
NEW WORLDS, NEW HORIZONS
Panel on Implementing Recommendations from New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Space Studies Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract NNX08AN97G between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Contract AST-0743899 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation, and Contract DE-FG02-08ER41542 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agencies that provided support for the project.
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PANEL ON IMPLEMENTING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM NEW WORLDS, NEW HORIZONS DECADAL SURVEY
ADAM S. BURROWS, Princeton University, Co-Chair
CHARLES F. KENNEL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, Co-Chair
ALAN DRESSLER, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution for Science
DEBRA M. ELMEGREEN, Vassar College
FIONA A. HARRISON, California Institute of Technology
LYNNE HILLENBRAND, California Institute of Technology
STEVEN M. RITZ, University of California, Santa Cruz
A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired)
DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director, Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA)
MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director, Space Studies Board (SSB)
DAVID B. LANG, Study Director and Program Officer, BPA
CARYN J. KNUTSEN, Associate Program Officer, BPA
TERI THOROWGOOD, Administrative Coordinator, BPA
BETH DOLAN, Financial Associate, BPA
BOARD ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY
ADAM S. BURROWS, Princeton University, Chair
PHILIP H. BUCKSBAUM, Stanford University, Vice Chair
RICCARDO BETTI, University of Rochester
JAMES DRAKE, University of Maryland
JAMES EISENSTEIN, California Institute of Technology
DEBRA M. ELMEGREEN, Vassar College
PAUL FLEURY, Yale University
PETER F. GREEN, University of Michigan
LAURA H. GREENE, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
MARTHA P. HAYNES, Cornell University
JOSEPH HEZIR, EOP Group, Inc.
MARK B. KETCHEN, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center
JOSEPH LYKKEN, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
PIERRE MEYSTRE, University of Arizona
HOMER A. NEAL, University of Michigan
MONICA OLVERA de la CRUZ, Northwestern University
JOSE N. ONUCHIC, University of California, San Diego
LISA RANDALL, Harvard University
MICHAEL S. TURNER, University of Chicago
MICHAEL C.F. WIESCHER, University of Notre Dame
DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director
SPACE STUDIES BOARD
CHARLES F. KENNEL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, Chair
JOHN KLINEBERG, Space Systems/Loral (retired), Vice Chair
MARK R. ABBOTT, Oregon State University
STEVEN J. BATTEL, Battel Engineering
YVONNE C. BRILL, Aerospace Consultant
ELIZABETH R. CANTWELL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
ANDREW B. CHRISTENSEN, Dixie State College and Aerospace Corporation
ALAN DRESSLER, Observatories of the Carnegie Institution
JACK D. FELLOWS, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
HEIDI B. HAMMEL, Space Science Institute
FIONA A. HARRISON, California Institute of Technology
ANTHONY C. JANETOS, University of Maryland
JOAN JOHNSON-FREESE, Naval War College
ROBERT P. LIN, University of California, Berkeley
MOLLY K. MACAULEY, Resources for the Future
JOHN F. MUSTARD, Brown University
ROBERT T. PAPPALARDO, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
JAMES PAWELCZYK, Pennsylvania State University
MARCIA J. RIEKE, University of Arizona
DAVID N. SPERGEL, Princeton University
WARREN M. WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research
CLIFFORD M. WILL, Washington University
THOMAS H. ZURBUCHEN, University of Michigan
MICHAEL H. MOLONEY, Director
The National Research Council (NRC) Panel on Implementing Recommendations from New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey was requested by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to address the following:
With the overall goal of ensuring that the scientific priorities of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (“the decadal survey program”) be pursued in as effective and timely a manner as possible, the NRC will organize a workshop that will feature invited presentations and discussion, to consider the implications of the following points:
1. The changes in the current budgetary and programmatic outlook for NASA’s astrophysics program from the scenarios outlined in the decadal survey report.
2. The current status of NASA’s implementation of the Wide-Field IR Survey Telescope (WFIRST) recommendation.
3. The current status of the ESA-Euclid mission, including any discussions of U.S. partnership in the mission.
4. The possible synergies and complementarities between the proposed NASA-WFIRST and ESA-Euclid science goals.
In the context of the implications of these items and through a short report following the workshop, the panel will describe several strategic options for pursuing the science priorities of the decadal survey program. For each option the panel will outline the associated pros and cons from the perspective of achieving the decadal science goals in a timely manner.
The assembled panel comprised former members of the Committee for Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics and other individuals involved in relevant aspects of the 2010 decadal survey process. All had an intimate knowledge of the survey itself and the rationales behind the strategy and various recommendations incorporated in the integrated plan outlined in the recently released report of the survey, New Worlds, New Horizons (NWNH). The panel invited to the open session of a meeting held on November 7, 2010, stakeholders from both Europe and the United States and from the relevant agencies (NASA, the European Space Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and OSTP) and the scientific community (see Appendix A). On short notice, these individuals graciously agreed to attend (either in person or remotely) and (1) made presentations in response to questions prepared in advance by the panel and the NRC, (2) answered additional questions from the panel members, and (3) provided their own candid observations on relevant matters.
Having organized its workshop and considered the issues outlined in the charge, the panel concluded that its role was to review and assess the possibility of U.S. participation in ESA’s dark energy project Euclid in light of the strategy developed as a result of the Astro2010 survey process and recommended in NWNH. Specifically, the charge, as interpreted by the panel, was to investigate the potential impact of both (1) U.S. participation in the ESA Euclid project and (2) the current budgetary situation at NASA with respect to the prospects for realizing NWNH priorities. In particular, the panel interpreted its charge to be to assess whether a NASA commitment in the upcoming fiscal year 2012 budget request to participate in the Euclid project at a level of approximately 20 percent of Euclid’s costs would be consistent with achieving the priorities, goals, and recommendations articulated in NWNH and with pursuing the science strategy therein. The panel also investigated what impact such participation, as well as the current budgetary situation, might have on the prospects for the timely realization of the Wide-
Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) recommended by NWNH.
During the panel’s deliberations, the report of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Independent Cost Review Panel (ICRP) was made public. The ICRP reported that the JWST can be launched no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2015 and at a minimum additional expense of $1.4 billion.1 As of the time the present panel’s report was completed, it had still not been made clear how or whether the JWST cost and schedule overrun would be addressed. This panel’s report should thus be read in the context of this new development and uncertainty, which nevertheless also serves to highlight the timely nature of this panel’s conclusions.
In its deliberations, the panel made use not only of the testimony before it by external participants (see Appendixes A and B), but also of the decadal survey report NWNH itself. NWNH was the primary resource used by the panel in arriving at its conclusions, and the panel was careful not to contradict NWNH, either on particulars or on strategy, as it dissected the issues and pursued its charge.
Adam S. Burrows, Co-Chair
Charles F. Kennel, Co-Chair
Panel on Implementing Recommendations from
New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey
1 J. Casani et al., James Webb Space Telescope Independent Comprehensive Review Panel: Final Report, October 29, 2010 (publicly released on November 10, 2010).
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Roger D. Blandford, Stanford University,
Martha P. Haynes, Cornell University,
Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr., University of Cambridge,
Jonathan I. Lunine, University of Arizona and University of Rome Tor Vergata,
Christopher McKee, University of California, Berkeley,
Marcia J. Rieke, University of Arizona,
Paul L. Schechter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
David N. Spergel, Princeton University,
Scott D. Tremaine, Institute for Advanced Study, and
Michael S. Turner, University of Chicago.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by William Press, University of Texas at Austin. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution.