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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2016
The Space Studies Board is a unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine work together as the National Academies to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Support for the work of the Space Studies Board and its committees in 2016 was provided by National Aeronau- tics and Space Administration contracts NNH10CC48B, NNH11CD57B, NNH16CE01B, and NNH17CB02B; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Contract WC133R-11-CQ-0048; National Science Foundation Grants AST-1535742 and AGS-1551518; U.S. Geological Survey Grant G15AP00107; Department of Energy Grant DE-SC0014211; Lockheed Martin; and the Heising-Simons Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclu- sions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support. Cover: A solar collage of wavelengths. This collage of solar images from NASAâs Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) shows how observations of the Sun in different wavelengths helps highlight different aspects of the Sunâs surface and atmosphere. The collage also includes images from other SDO instruments that display magnetic and Doppler information. Credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Solar Dynamics Observatory/ Â Goddard Space Flight Center. Digital Object Identifier:â https://doi.org/10.17226.24748.
From the Chair 2016 was a productive year for the Space Studies Board (SSB). The work of the panels and steering committee for the new decadal survey for Earth science and applications from space got under way in earnest, and we also completed a mid-decadal review for the New Worlds, New Horizons survey for astronomy and astrophysics. The SSBâs most important role is providing long-term strategic advice to NASA and other agencies interested in space science, exploration and space applications. While government priorities may change, the fun- damental scientific questions remain. SSB reports have also explored the implementation of these goals with this yearâs studies looking at the role of missions in extended operations (Extending Science: NASAâs Space Science Mission Extensions and the Senior Review Process) and the unique role of large strategic NASA missions in a balanced portfo- lio (Committee on Large Strategic NASA Science Missions: Science Value and Role in a Balanced Portfolio). The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine also convenes workshops and other forums to focus on compelling sci- entific issues. One of the enduring questions of space science is âAre We Alone?â Our well-attended December workshop, âSearching for Life Across Space and Time,â asked, âWhat is our current understand- ing of the limits of life and lifeâs interactions with the environments of planets and moons? Are we today positioned to design, build, and conduct experiments or observations capable of life detection remotely or in situ in our own solar system and from afar on extrasolar worlds? How could targeted research help advance the state of the art for life detection, including instrumentation and precursor research, to successfully address these challenges?â Our upcoming workshop proceedings will summarize the discussions that took place at the December event. Another role of the National Academies is to build bridges to other scientific communities. The âForum for New Leaders in Space Scienceâ is a model program that brings together early-career space scientists from China and the United States with a goal of building inter-personal connections that will enable future space science collaborations between the worldâs two largest economies. The forum held two meetings in 2016, one in Irvine, California, in May focused on Earth science and one in Beijing in December focused on biological/biomedical research in the space environment. In the coming year, the SSB standing committeesânow rechartered as discipline committeesâwill be able to more directly advise the federal government. I served on one of those committees some years agoâthe Com- iii
mittee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA)âwhen the committee was able to write letter reports that provided recommendations and findings in a timely fashion to the program managers at NASA and the National Science Foundation. After a rechartering of the four space science standing committees by the National Academies at the request of NASA, these committees will be able issue short reports on the implementation of decadal survey rec- ommendations and, therefore, be more responsive to requests for assistance from NASA and elsewhere. I believe that this will be very beneficial, particularly in the coming years as the new administration looks to modify the direction of NASA and other agencies. This annual report is my last as SSB chair. I am pleased that Fiona Harrison will assume leadership of the SSB, and I am confident that she and the Board will provide the federal government with valuable advice during this period of transition in Washington. David N. Spergel Chair Space Studies Board iv
Space Studies Board Chairs and Vice Chairs SPACE STUDIES BOARD CHAIRS Lloyd V. Berkner (deceased), 1958â1962 Harry H. Hess (deceased), 1962â1969 Charles H. Townes (deceased), 1970â1973 Richard M. Goody, 1974â1976 A.G.W. Cameron (deceased), 1977â1981 Thomas M. Donahue (deceased), 1982â1988 Louis J. Lanzerotti, 1989â1994 Claude R. Canizares, 1994â2000 John H. McElroy (deceased), 2000â2003 Lennard A. Fisk, 2003â2008 Charles F. Kennel, 2008â2014 David N. Spergel, 2014â2016 Fiona A. Harrison 2017âpresent SPACE STUDIES BOARD VICE CHAIRS George A. Paulikas, 2003â2006 A. Thomas Young, 2006â2010 John M. Klineberg, 2011â2014 Robert D. Braun, 2014âpresent David N. Spergel, 2016âpresent v
Contents FROM THE CHAIR iii 1 CHARTER AND ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD 1 The Origins of the Space Science Board, 1 The Space Studies Board Today, 2 Collaboration With Other Units of the National Academies, 5 Assuring the Quality of Space Studies Board Reports, 5 Audience and Sponsors, 5 Outreach and Dissemination, 7 Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Internship, 7 2 BOARD AND STANDING COMMITTEES: ACTIVITIES AND MEMBERSHIP 8 Space Studies Board, 8 Highlights of Space Studies Board Activities, 8 Space Studies Board Membership, 10 U.S. National Committee for COSPAR, 12 Standing Committees, 12 Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science, 13 Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, 16 Committee on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space, 19 Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space, 22 Committee on Solar and Space Physics, 24 3 AD HOC STUDY COMMITTEES: ACTIVITIES AND MEMBERSHIP 27 Achieving Science Goals With CubeSats, 27 Assessment of the National Science Foundationâs 2015 Geospace Portfolio Review, 28 Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space, 29 Large Strategic NASA Science Missions: Science Value and Role in a Balanced Portfolio, 33 NASA Science Mission Extensions: Scientific Value, Policies, and Review Process, 34 Review of NASAâs Planetary Science Divisionâs Restructured Research and Analysis Programs, 35 Review of Progress Toward the Decadal Survey Vision in New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 36 vii
viii Contents 4 WORKSHOPS, SYMPOSIA, MEETINGS OF EXPERTS, AND OTHER SPECIAL PROJECTS 37 Chinese Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Sciences Forum for New Leaders in Space Science, 37 Planetary Protection of the Outer Solar System, 39 Searching for Life Across Space and Time: A Workshop, 39 5 SUMMARIES OF MAJOR REPORTS 41 5.1 Achieving Science with CubeSats: Thinking Inside the Box, 42 5.2 Extending Science: NASAâs Space Science Mission Extensions and the Senior Review Process, 47 5.3 New Worlds, New Horizons: A Midterm Assessment, 54 6 CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY 62 7 CUMULATIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SSB REPORTS: 1958-2016 66
Dedicated to the Memory of Patti Grace Smith (1947-2016) a respected friend and colleague who served as Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Vice Chair from 2014 until her death Molly K. Macauley (1957-2016) a respected friend and colleague w ho served as a member of the Space Studies Board from 2007-2013, and as a member of the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board from 2004-2007 eil Gehrels (1952-2017) N a respected friend and colleague who was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences in 2010 and who served as a member of the Space Studies Board from 2013 until his death ix