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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Midterm Assessment of Implementation of the Decadal Survey on Life and Physical Sciences Research at NASA. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24966.
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A

Statement of Task

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine shall convene an ad hoc committee to review the progress of NASA’s Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Application program in addressing the strategies, goals, and priorities outlined in the 2011 NRC decadal survey report, Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration, Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era.

  1. The committee’s assessment will describe:
    1. NASA’s approach to and progress on realizing the strategies, goals, and priorities outlined in the 2011 decadal survey and other relevant Academies reports;
    2. Existing and emerging challenges to and opportunities for the implementation of decadal strategies, goals, and priorities, including:
      • Plans for the International Space Station and the long-term future for research infrastructure in low Earth orbit (LEO)—including the provision of privately-owned and -operated infrastructure;
      • Resource and program constraints,
      • The opportunities and challenges of a multisponsor (NASA, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, other government agencies, commercial) science procurement approach using Reference Experiments and Open Databases; and
      • Developments in the research community and its engagement with NASA, CASIS, and other research sponsors.
    3. While considering current and forecasted resources, actions that could be taken to optimize the science value of the program in the context of enabling the expansion of human exploration into deep space. In this regard:
      • The committee will identify and rank from among the “highest priority recommendations” in the decadal survey a set of targeted research priorities which are critical for NASA to conduct in order to enable the expansion of human exploration into deep space.
      • To the greatest extent possible, the committee will also identify the platform environment where the priority research should take place in order to be successful—such as: Earth analogs, LEO (on ISS through 2024), LEO (on other platforms), beyond Earth orbit (such as, a cislunar habitat).
      • In identifying and ranking its targeted research priorities, the committee will consider the full set of “highest priority recommendations” in the decadal survey in conjunction with relevant exploration
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Midterm Assessment of Implementation of the Decadal Survey on Life and Physical Sciences Research at NASA. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24966.
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    • technology development priorities identified in the NRC report NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities: Restoring NASA’s Technological Edge and Paving the Way for a New Era in Space. The committee will also consider NASA’s deep space exploration goals and priorities as presented by the agency.
    • Using the remaining “highest priority recommendations” from the decadal survey, the committee will identify where possible those that are aligned with ongoing activities in other government agencies and, where feasible, the commercial/private sector.
  1. The committee will provide guidance about implementation of the recommended portfolio for the remaining years of the current decadal survey, recognizing likely resource and program constraints.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Midterm Assessment of Implementation of the Decadal Survey on Life and Physical Sciences Research at NASA. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24966.
×
Page 95
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. A Midterm Assessment of Implementation of the Decadal Survey on Life and Physical Sciences Research at NASA. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24966.
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Page 96
Next: Appendix B: Meeting Agendas »
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The 2011 National Research Council decadal survey on biological and physical sciences in space, Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era, was written during a critical period in the evolution of science in support of space exploration. The research agenda in space life and physical sciences had been significantly descoped during the programmatic adjustments of the Vision for Space Exploration in 2005, and this occurred in the same era as the International Space Station (ISS) assembly was nearing completion in 2011. Out of that period of change, Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration presented a cogent argument for the critical need for space life and physical sciences, both for enabling and expanding the exploration capabilities of NASA as well as for contributing unique science in many fields that can be enabled by access to the spaceflight environment.

Since the 2011 publication of the decadal survey, NASA has seen tremendous change, including the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program and the maturation of the ISS. NASA formation of the Division of Space Life and Physical Sciences Research and Applications provided renewed focus on the research of the decadal survey. NASA has modestly regrown some of the budget of space life and physical sciences within the agency and engaged the U.S. science community outside NASA to join in this research. In addition, NASA has collaborated with the international space science community.

This midterm assessment reviews NASA’s progress since the 2011 decadal survey in order to evaluate the high-priority research identified in the decadal survey in light of future human Mars exploration. It makes recommendations on science priorities, specifically those priorities that best enable deep space exploration.

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