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Meeting Information

Project Title: Large Strategic NASA Science Missions: Science Value and Role in a Balanced Portfolio

PIN: DEPS-SSB-15-06         

Major Unit:
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Sub Unit:
Space Studies Board DEPS

Day, Dwayne

Subject/Focus Area:
Space and Aeronautics

Large Strategic NASA Science Missions: Science Value and Role in a Balanced Portfolio
February 15, 2017 - February 17, 2017
Keck Center
500 5th Street, NW
Washington D.C. 20001

If you would like to attend the sessions of this meeting that are open
to the public or need more information please contact:

Contact Name: Dwayne Day
Phone: 202-334-3011


Committee on Strategic NASA Science Missions
Meeting #3: February 15-17, 2017
Room 201
Keck Center
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Wednesday, February 15, 2017


7:30 am Room opens (working breakfast available in the meeting room)

8:30 am Meeting convenes; opening remarks Study Director/Chairs

9:00 am NASA Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen
Associate Administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA
Paul Hertz
Director, Astrophysics Division, NASA
Jim Green
Director, Planetary Sciences Division, NASA
Sandra Cauffman
Deputy Director, Earth Sciences Division, NASA
Peg Luce
Deputy Director, Heliophysics Division, NASA

10:45 am Break (15 minutes)

11:00 am Heliophysics perspectives (via Webex) Dan Baker

11:45 am NASA Heliophysics (via Webex) Steven Clarke
Director, Heliophysics Division, NASA

12:15 pm Working lunch; discussion continues in meeting room

1:15 pm PI-Led missions Mark Sykes

2:15 pm TBD TBD

Note: Committee will probably go into closed session after the last speaker.

3:15 pm Break (15 minutes)

5:35 pm Meeting suspends

6:30 pm Working dinner at District ChopHouse- 509 7th Street NW, DC 20004

8:30 pm Meeting adjourns for the day

Thursday, February 16, 2017


7:30 am Rooms opens (working breakfast available in the meeting room)

8:30 am Meeting convenes; opening remarks

9:00 am EUMETSAT (via Webex) Alain Ratier

10:00 am TBD TBD

NOTE: Committee will probably go into closed session after one or two presentations, so this day will be mostly closed-session.

11:00 am Break (15 minutes)

12:15 pm Working lunch in the meeting room; discussion continues

3:00 pm Break (15 minutes)

5:00 pm Meeting adjourns for the day

Friday, February 17, 2017


NOTE: Committee will be in closed session this day

8:00 am Room opens (breakfast available in the meeting room)

8:55 am Meeting convenes; opening remarks

10:45 am Break (15 minutes)

12:00 pm Working lunch; discussion continues in meeting room

1:00 pm Meeting adjourns for the day

Statement of Task

This study will examine the role of large, strategic missions within a balanced program across NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) space and Earth sciences programs. The study will consider the role and scientific productivity of such missions in advancing science, technology and the long-term health of the field, and provide guidance that NASA can use to help set the priority of larger missions within a properly balanced program containing a range of mission classes.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will appoint an ad-hoc committee that will:

1. Provide recommendations to help guide future prioritization by NASA of large strategic space and Earth science missions within a balanced program containing a range of mission classes. That is, what are general principles that SMD could use (e.g., a figure of merit approach) to trade off within a limited budget between development and operation of large, strategic missions and the cadence and/or cost caps of medium size and small PI-led mission lines?

The committee will not offer prioritized recommendations on any specific current or future missions, which is a function of each science theme's decadal survey process.

2. In this framework, assess the impact of current and recent SMD missions with a range of life cycle costs. A representative subset of missions within each of SMD's four science theme areas may be selected for analysis. The committee's analysis of each representative mission will include a discussion of the relation between mission scientific impact and mission life cycle cost (or cost to date) in order to understand the return on expenditures for various mission classes. In describing the impact of the chosen missions the committee should consider dimensions such as:

• Scientific productivity;
• Impact on the current and future health of the relevant scientific community; and
• Contribution to development and demonstration of technology applicable to future missions.

The following information is provided for any members of the general public who may be in attendance:

This meeting is being held to gather information to help the committee conduct its study. This committee will examine the information and material obtained during this, and other public meetings, in an effort to inform its work. Although opinions may be stated and lively discussion may ensue, no conclusions are being drawn at this time and no recommendations will be made. In fact, the committee will deliberate thoroughly before writing its draft report. Moreover, once the draft report is written, it must go through a rigorous review by experts who are anonymous to the committee, and the committee then must respond to this review with appropriate revisions that adequately satisfy the Academy’s Report Review committee and the chair of the NRC before it is considered an NRC report. Therefore, observers who draw conclusions about the committee’s work based on today’s discussions will be doing so prematurely.

Furthermore, individual committee members often engage in discussion and questioning for the specific purpose of probing an issue and sharpening an argument. The comments of any given committee member may not necessarily reflect the position he or she may actually hold on the subject under discussion, to say nothing of that person’s future position as it may evolve in the course of the project. Any inference about an individual’s position regarding findings or recommendations in the final report are therefore also premature.

Last updated: February 13, 2017 - 2 PM

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Meeting

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the meeting:
Ralph McNutt
Kathryn Thornton
Charles Norton
Anny Cazenave
Joel Bregman
David Bearden
Caol Paty
Peter Zank
Anne Douglass
Mark Imhoff
Marc Rayman
Ned Wright
Bill Smith
Vicky Hamilton

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:
Findings and recommendations. Report draft. Schedule. Delivery plans for the report.

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:
Report draft.

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary: February 17, 2017