National Academies Press: OpenBook

Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015 (2016)

Chapter:Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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Space Studies Board

Annual Report
2015

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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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 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 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 2015 was provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration contracts NNH10CC48B and NNH11CD57B; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Contract WC133R-11-CQ-0048; National Science Foundation Grants AST 1533814 and AST-1535742; U.S. Geological Survey Grant G15AAP00107; and Department of Energy Grant DE-SC0014211. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support.

Cover: NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured this high-resolution enhanced color view of Pluto on July 14, 2015. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC). Pluto’s surface sports a remarkable range of subtle colors, enhanced in this view to a rainbow of pale blues, yellows, oranges, and deep reds. Many landforms have their own distinct colors, telling a complex geological and climatological story that scientists have only just begun to decode. The image resolves details and colors on scales as small as 0.8 miles (1.3 km). Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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From the Chair

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The Space Studies Board (SSB) has had a busy and productive year.

The most important task of the SSB is to advise the government about space policy through the decadal survey process. The recently released report The Space Science Decadal Surveys: Lessons Learned and Best Practices synthesizes the experience of multiple surveys in our different subfields and identifies a set of best practices for future surveys. The SSB has also launched its most complex survey, the Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space. No other survey covers such a wide breadth of science and involves such a diverse community of scientists and users. NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey are co-sponsoring the survey with its panels covering global hydrological cycles and water resources, weather and air quality, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, climate variability and change, and the Earth surface and interior-dynamics and hazards. The survey aims to issue its report by October 2017.

As part of the decadal process, Congress has charged NASA with requesting mid-decadal reviews in each of the subfields. Over the past year, the SSB launched the mid-decadal review of the astronomy and astrophysics programs, examining progress toward the goals of the New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics report. In addition, the SSB hosted a symposium in Irvine, California, dedicated to understanding scientific progress in astronomy and astrophysics since the release of the decadal survey and the changing intellectual landscape as we look forward to the next astronomy and astrophysics survey that is anticipated to start in 2018.

The Space Studies Board has also been involved in several other exciting studies this past year. We issued the report from our education workshop, Sharing the Adventure with the Student—Exploring the Intersections of NASA Space Science and Education: A Workshop Summary, one of our biannual workshops on topics in space sciences. Victoria Hamilton, Southwest Research Institute, and Harvey Tannenbaum, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, are leading an ad hoc committee charged with evaluating the scientific return from missions in extended operations, examining the balance between starting new missions and continuing older missions, as well as evaluating the senior review process. That report is expected to be issued in the summer of 2016. Perhaps our most novel study this year has been “Achieving Science Goals with Cubesats.” The committee was charged with identifying the potential of CubeSats to do high-priority science and to identify ways of increasing the scientific

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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value of this potentially exciting new platform. Thomas Zurbuchen, University of Michigan, and Bhavya Lal, IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute, are leading this committee which will issue its report in May 2016.

The Space Studies Board continues to work with its international partners on both policy planning and enhancing scientific interaction. For the first time in many years, the SSB developed a joint study with our European Science Foundation colleagues on planetary protection issues for so-called “Special Regions” on Mars. In addition, the SSB and the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences co-sponsored a forum for young space scientists in Shanghai that focused on studies of planetary bodies in the solar system and Earth science from space. This forum built on previous meetings focused on astrophysics and heliophysics. In summary, this has been a productive year for the Board, and it has been a pleasure to work with all the committees in pursuing the SSB’s mandate to provide NASA and the broader federal government with the highest quality advice. Many thanks to all in the government and the research community who make that possible.

David N. Spergel
Chair
Space Studies Board

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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Space Studies Board Chairs and Vice Chairs

SPACE STUDIES BOARD CHAIRS

Lloyd V. Berkner (deceased), 1958–1962

Harry H. Hess (deceased), 1962–1969

Charles H. Townes (deceased), 1970–1973

Richard M. Goody, 1974–1976

A.G.W. Cameron (deceased), 1977–1981

Thomas M. Donahue (deceased), 1982–1988

Louis J. Lanzerotti, 1989–1994

Claude R. Canizares, 1994–2000

John H. McElroy (deceased), 2000–2003

Lennard A. Fisk, 2003–2008

Charles F. Kennel, 2008–2014

David N. Spergel, 2014–

SPACE STUDIES BOARD VICE CHAIRS

George A. Paulikas, 2003–2006

A. Thomas Young, 2006–2010

John M. Klineberg, 2011–2014

Robert D. Braun, 2014–

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23494.
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The original charter of the Space Science Board was established in June 1958, 3 months before the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) opened its doors. The Space Science Board and its successor, the Space Studies Board (SSB), have provided expert external and independent scientific and programmatic advice to NASA on a continuous basis from NASA's inception until the present. The SSB has also provided such advice to other executive branch agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Department of Defense, as well as to Congress.

Space Studies Board Annual Report 2015 covers a message from the chair of the SSB, David N. Spergel. This report also explains the origins of the Space Science Board, how the Space Studies Board functions today, the SSB's collaboration with other National Research Council units, assures the quality of the SSB reports, acknowledges the audience and sponsors, and expresses the necessity to enhance the outreach and improve dissemination of SSB reports.

This report will be relevant to a full range of government audiences in civilian space research - including NASA, NSF, NOAA, USGS, and the Department of Energy, as well members of the SSB, policy makers, and researchers.

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