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1 Introduction BACKGROUND AND MOTIVATION The 2013 decadal survey Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society1 (hereafter, âthe decadal surveyâ) recommended the DRIVE2 initiative to develop more fully and employ more effectively a variety of experimental and theoretical assets. Under the DRIVE element âDiversify,â the survey explained that âexploration of the complex heliospheric system . . . requires the strategic use of diverse assets that range from large missions and facilities, through Explorers and mid-sized projects, down to small CubeSats and suborbital flights. . . . The field is entering an era of opportunities for multipoint and multiscale measurements with an increasingly diverse set of platforms and technologies.â Appendix C of the decadal survey further reviewed the observing platforms that were available in 2013 and considered the prospects for the coming decade, noting that âhosted opportunities are currently and increasingly available in a variety of orbits and even provide an opportunity for carrying out constellation missions.â3 The expectations expressed in the decadal survey for increased opportunities in this area were well- founded. Although at times the enthusiasm for small satellites such as CubeSats outpaced the availability of launches,4 in recent years there has been a revolution in space accessibility. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Mission Directorate (SMD) recently embraced as a standard practice the concept of exploiting opportunities for secondary science payloads on launches with excess mass capacity. In particular, SMD stated that it would be adding Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter âESPA ringâ accommodations for additional payloads when excess capacity is available on future mission launches.5 One recent example is the call for secondary payloads for the NASA Heliophysics Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission. The NASA Heliophysics Division (HPD) announced the IMAP opportunities well in advance of its planned launch. However, HPD also wants to develop a program to take advantage of rideshare opportunities that arise on much shorter notice (e.g., months), recognizing that the expansion of commercial launch capacity is shifting the paradigm of space access (see Chapter 2). As HPD Deputy Director Margaret (Peg) Luce commented at the committee discussion, âThe environment is changing; 1 National Research Council (NRC), Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2013, https://doi.org/10.17226/13060. 2 DRIVE: Diversify, Realize, Integrate, Venture, Educate. 3 NRC, Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2013, https://doi.org/10.17226/13060, p. 346. 4 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), âLaunch as a Choke Point,â p. 80 in Achieving Science with CubeSats: Thinking Inside the Box, The National Academies Press: Washington, D.C., 2016, https://doi.org/10.17226/23503. 5 NASA documentation on SMD rideshare opportunity policy can be found at NASA, âRequest for Information (RFI) for Rideshare Mission Integration Services,â Solicitation NNH19ZDA006L, released November 8, 2018, closed December 14, 2018, https://nspires.nasaprs.com. 1
opportunities are bubbling up more than we ever dreamed,â adding that HPD hopes to put in place resources to augment its overall portfolio in light of these new opportunities.6 CHARGE AND APPROACH The Committee on Solar and Space Physics (CSSP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is tasked with monitoring the progress of the implementation of recommendations in the decadal survey. In this context, the leadership of NASA HPD requested that CSSP write a short report to give guidance for an HPD program that has the flexibility and agility to respond to emergent rideshare opportunities. In response, the National Academies issued a charge to the committee, which is given in Appendix A. The primary task of the CSSP was as follows: The short report will include, but not be limited to, discussion of the 1. Kinds of solar and space physics science that would be enabled by an agile response to rideshare opportunities, at locations that would provide global perspectives, unique views, or continuous coverage, among others; 2. Types of payloads that are suited to rideshare opportunities, because they are scientifically valuable in single or multiple locations and rapidly deployable with short development times or that can be shelved until a launch becomes available; 3. Considerations for the development and implementation of a new HPD program that would allow agile responses to future short-notice rideshare opportunities. The conclusions expressed in this report are those of the CSSP committee members with expertise in many of the subdisciplines of solar and space physics. The committeeâs approach to this task was to draw upon presentations and town hall discussions at the 2019 SHINE,7 GEM,8 and CEDAR9 meetings as well as community input solicited via a web form. These initial inputs guided the agenda for the CSSP October 22-24, 2019, meeting, where further presentations and discussions occurred involving the committee, three panels of experts from the solar and space physics research and commercial spaceflight communities, along with representatives from NASA HPD, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Geospace Section, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Satellite and Information Service.10 Chapter 2 of this report briefly surveys the current landscape of rideshare opportunities. Chapters 3 through 5 then focus on the three elements of the charge, and Chapter 6 presents a view of the path forward. Five summary conclusions were drawn from the meeting discussion, community inputs, and from the expertise of the committee members. 6 Margaret (Peg) Luce, NASA Heliophysics Division Deputy Director, personal communication, in discussion with the Committee on Solar and Space Physics on October 23, 2019. 7 National Science Foundation (NSF), âSolar, Heliospheric, and Interplanetary Environment,â https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5749, accessed April 6, 2020. 8 NSF, âGeospace Environment Modeling (GEM),â https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5506, accessed April 6, 2020. 9 NSF, âCoupling, Energetics, and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions (CEDAR),â https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=5503, accessed April 6, 2020. 10 See Appendix B for the Committee on Solar and Space Physics October 2019 meeting agenda. 2