A Performance Assessment of NASA's Astrophysics Program by National Research Council, Division on Engineering and

By National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Space Studies Board, NASA Astrophysics Performance Assessment Committee

Whereas a couple of extraordinary discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics have taken position during the last twenty years, many vital questions stay. persevered development in those fields would require NASA's management. to assist be certain if NASA can meet this problem, Congress, within the 2005 NASA Authorization Act, directed the company to have "the functionality of every department within the technology directorate...reviewed and assessed via the nationwide Academy of Sciences at 5-year intervals." In early 2006, NASA requested the NRC to behavior such an evaluation for the agency's Astrophysics department. This document provides an evaluate of the way good NASA's present software addresses the options, targets, and priorities defined in prior Academy studies. The file offers an research of growth towards understanding those recommendations, targets, and priorities; and a dialogue of activities which may be taken to optimize the clinical price of this system within the context of present and forecasted assets.

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Extra info for A Performance Assessment of NASA's Astrophysics Program

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The smaller missions and programs are particularly vulnerable to perturbations such as cost growth in large missions, changes in accounting systems, or project budget instability. NASA should also to seek to limit cost growth in missions by exploring ways to provide less expensive launch services (particularly for smaller missions), re-examining mission safety and assurance requirements to match them more appropriately to mission size, relaxing deorbit requirements for smaller spacecraft involved in low-cost missions, and inding improved ways to establish and maintain effective international collaborations on missions of all sizes.

S. scientiic enterprise is effective communication between the scientists who are making discoveries and the managers within the federal science agencies who are responsible for making decisions. Science managers need expert advice to inform their decisions; scientists need to understand how the science agencies function as well as the basis for the decisions that managers are making. S. scientiic enterprise and a key to its success over the past 50 years. , management operations working groups and review panels).

2Figures in the list were provided (in real-year dollars) to the committee by NASA Astrophysics Division staff. 1), redirected toward the president’s new vision for space exploration. 5 billion per year, for a total of about $15 billion for the 10-year period. Thus, the more than $4 billion gap relative to the expectations of the AANM survey is currently projected to amount by the end of the decade to about 25 percent of NASA’s astrophysics budget. It is no wonder that progress has slowed. Moreover, this analysis does not include the past expectation that, in the wake of the federal budgetary surplus in the mid-1990s, science budgets would be rising.

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