A Performance Assessment of NASA's Heliophysics Program -

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Extra info for A Performance Assessment of NASA's Heliophysics Program - NRC

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SOURCE: Data courtesy of NASA. 1-10 STP budget rose to approximately $140 million in FY 2004 and then dropped to approximately $70 million in FY 2008. The STP budget is projected to grow to between $160 million and $170 million by FY 2011 to FY 2013. These swings in funding have reduced the frequency of Explorer, STP, and overall Heliophysics Division spacecraft missions, decreasing opportunities for scientific investigations. 10 shows the launch rate for NASA Heliophysics Division spacecraft missions, which peaked at two to four missions per year in 2006 to 2008 but is projected to decrease to between zero and one mission per year in the 2009 to 2013 time frame.

24 A PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT OF NASA’S HELIOPHYSICS PROGRAM and supporting activities. But as Chapter 1 has shown, very little of the recommended NASA priorities from the decadal survey will be realized during the period covered by the survey. Mission cost growth, reordering of survey ­mission ­priorities, and unrealized budget assumptions have delayed or deferred nearly all of the NASA missions recommended in the survey. Some of these factors were largely outside NASA’s control, but as the assessments in Chapter 2 detail, many were driven by subsequent NASA decisions about mission science content, mission size, and mission sequence.

Changes in payload ­capability, launch vehicles, and project requirements have all contributed to the increases in time and cost. Although it is encouraging to see MMS moving forward, its problems have necessitated the re-programming of subsequent moderate missions. 31 ASSESSMENT Background: In 1999, an STDT report baselined MMS as a five-spacecraft, multiphase mission to investigate magnetic reconnection, particle acceleration, and turbulence in several regions of Earth’s magnetosphere. The mission’s first phase begins with an investigation of magnetic reconnection at Earth’s dayside magnetopause.

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