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Space & Planetary Science

NAC Space Science Subcommitee Reports

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
May 12, 2006

Report of the NASA Advisory Council Planetary Science Subcommittee

“A solution must be sought to the legal obstacles imposed by the interpretation by NASA attorneys of federal regulations on conflicts of interest in order to permit open discussion of programs and potential budgetary trades by the full subcommittee.”

Report of the NASA Advisory Council Astrophysics Subcommittee

“The Subcommittee recommends that NASA maintain a healthy R&A program. The R&A program both provides the seed corn for future missions and enables scientists to fully harvest the scientific yield from on-going and past missions. The technology development done under the R&A program is essential to the success of future missions, to lowering their costs, minimizing their risks, and maximizing NASA’s science return per dollar from its large missions.”

Report of the NASA Advisory Council Earth Science Subcommittee

“The large retroactive cut in FY06 will have devastating effects on the research community, especially young researchers, if it is not alleviated in FY07. A one-time cut can be at least partially absorbed by phasing of contracts, delay of purchases, etc., but a long-term cut of that magnitude would have severe impacts on the lifeblood of the Earth science community, with strong negative implications for the ability of the community to meet national needs at a time when the importance of Earth science and global change issues are growing markedly.”

Report of the NASA Advisory Council Heliophysics Subcommittee

“Our initial conclusion is that the Heliophysics program (the bottom to paths in the attached summary sheet from that report) defined in the recent roadmap can be carried out with the current funding profile. We recognize that the program is fragile, and that the loss of any single missions would result in substantial damage to the systems approach to understanding the connections among the existing systems in the Heliosphere.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.