The National Research Council shall convene an ad hoc committee of 12-15 members to review the responses of NASA’s Astrophysics program, NSF’s Astronomy program, and DOE’s Cosmic Frontiers program (hereafter the Agencies’ programs) to previous NRC advice, primarily the 2010 NRC decadal survey, “New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics” (NWNH).
In the context of funding circumstances that are substantially below those assumed in NWNH, the committee’s review will include the following tasks:
- Describe the most significant scientific discoveries, technical advances, and relevant programmatic changes in astronomy and astrophysics over the years since the publication of the decadal survey;
- Assess how well the Agencies’ programs address the strategies, goals, and priorities outlined in the 2010 decadal survey and other relevant NRC reports;
- Assess the progress toward realizing these strategies, goals, and priorities; and
- In the context of strategic advice provided for the Agencies’ programs by Federal Advisory Committees, and in the context of mid-decade contingencies described in the decadal survey, recommend any actions that could be taken to maximize the science return of the Agencies’ programs.
The review should not revisit or alter the scientific priorities or mission recommendations provided in the decadal survey and related NRC reports but may provide guidance on implementation of the recommended science and activities portfolio and on other potential activities in preparation for the next decadal survey.