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Project Information

Project Information


Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032: Panel on Small Solar System Bodies


Project Scope:

Panel Description:

This panel will discuss the role played by focused studies of comets, asteroids, meteorites, interplanetary dust grains, and related objects (e.g., Trojan asteroids, Centaurs, and Kuiper-belt objects) in addressing the broader activities described in the decadal survey’s statement of task, and will report its findings to the decadal survey’s steering group.

Overall Project Statement of Task:

The Space Studies Board shall establish a survey committee (the “committee”) to develop a comprehensive science and mission strategy for planetary science that updates and extends the Board’s current solar system exploration decadal survey, Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 (2011).

The new decadal survey shall broadly canvas the field of space- and ground-based planetary science to determine the current state of knowledge and to identify the most important scientific questions to be addressed during the interval 2023-2032. For the first time, this decadal survey will also study aspects of planetary defense, now that this activity is fully incorporated as an element of NASA’s planetary science endeavors. The survey will also take into account planned human space exploration activities. In addition, the survey and report shall address relevant programmatic and implementation issues of interest to NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Since the content and structure of the program portfolios of the two agencies are distinct from one another, implementation and investment recommendations specific to each agency should be elaborated in separate sections of the final report. This will ensure that the report’s investment guidance will be clearly addressed to the appropriate agency.

It is critically important that the recommendations of the Committee be achievable within the boundaries of anticipated funding. NASA and NSF will provide an up-to-date understanding of these limitations to the committee at the time of survey initiation.

The report should provide a clear exposition of the following:

1.  An overview of planetary science, astrobiology, and planetary defense—what they are, why they are compelling undertakings, and the relationship between space- and ground- based research;

2.  A broad survey of the current state of knowledge of the solar system;

3.  The most compelling science questions, goals and challenges which should motivate future strategy in planetary science, astrobiology, and planetary defense;

4.  A coherent and consistent traceability of recommended research and missions to objectives and goals;

5.  A comprehensive research strategy to advance the frontiers of planetary science, astrobiology and planetary defense during the period 2023-2032 that will include identifying, recommending, and ranking the highest priority research activities (research activities include any project, facility, experiment, mission, or research program of sufficient scope to be identified separately in the final report).For each activity, consideration should be given to the scientific case, international and private landscape, timing, cost category and cost risk, as well as technical readiness, technical risk, lifetime, and opportunities for partnerships. The strategy should be balanced, by considering large, medium, and small research activities for both ground and space;

6.  Recommendations for decision rules, where appropriate, for the comprehensive research strategy that can accommodate significant but reasonable deviations in the projected budget or changes in urgency precipitated by new discoveries or technological developments;

7.  An awareness of the science and space mission plans and priorities of NASA human space exploration programs and potential foreign and U.S. agency partners reflected in the comprehensive research strategy and identification of opportunities for cooperation, as appropriate;

8.  The opportunities for collaborative research that are relevant to science priorities between SMD’s four science divisions (for example, comparative planetology approaches to exoplanet or astrobiology research); between NASA SMD and the other NASA mission directorates; between NASA and the NSF; between NASA and other US government entities; between NASA and private sector organizations; between NASA and its international partners; and

9.  The state of the profession including issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility, the creation of safe workspaces, and recommended policies and practices to improve the state of the profession. Where possible, provide specific, actionable and practical recommendations to the agencies and community to address these areas.

Status: Current

PIN: DEPS-SSB-20-07

Project Duration (months): 36 month(s)

RSO: Smith, David

Board(s)/Committee(s):

Space Studies Board

Topic(s):

Space and Aeronautics
Policy for Science and Technology



Geographic Focus:

Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 09/17/2020

Nancy L. Chabot - (Chair)
NANCY L. CHABOT is the planetary chief scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). Previously, she was a senior research associate at the Case Western Reserve University, and an NRC postdoctoral research scientist at NASA Johnson Space Center. Chabot served as the instrument scientist for the Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS) on NASA’s MESSENGER mission and was chair of the Geology Discipline Group. Currently, she is the coordination lead on NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, the deputy principal investigator for the Mars-moon Exploration with GAmma rays and NEutrons (MEGANE) instrument on the JAXA’s Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission, and an interdisciplinary scientist on the joint ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission. Chabot received a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona. She has not previously served on an Academies’ committee.
Carol Raymond - (Vice Chair)
CAROL A. RAYMOND is a program scientist of the Small Bodies and Planetary Defense Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). She is also a program scientist in the mission formulation office in the Planetary Science Directorate. Her current research interests include the solar system geophysical evolution of Mars, Vesta, and Ceres. In addition, Raymond is interested in the derivation of time-varying terrestrial magnetic fields from satellite magnetic data. Previously, she’s held various positions at JPL since 1990, was a visiting associate in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology, and an adjunct associate research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. She is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and the NASA MagSat Group Achievement Award. She received her Ph.D. in geological sciences from Columbia University. Prior to being appointed to the steering committee for this survey, she has not served on an Academies’ committee.
Paul A. Abell
PAUL A. ABELL is the chief scientist for Small Body Exploration at NASA Johnson Space Center in the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division. He is also a visiting astronomer at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility at Mauna Kea Observatory. Abell’s research interests include the physical characterization of near-Earth objects via ground-based and spacecraft observations, examination of NEOs for future robotic and human exploration and identification of potential resources within the NEO population for future in situ utilization. He is a member of an internal NASA team that is examining the possibility of sending astronauts to NEOs for human missions, a science team member of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Solar System Collaboration, and is also an investigation team member on both NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) and Near-Earth Object Camera (NEO Cam) proposed planetary defense missions. Abell received a Ph.D. in geology from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has previously served on an Academies’ committee.
William F. Bottke
WILLIAM F. BOTTKE is director of the Department of Space Studies at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in the Space Science and Engineering Division. His research focuses on planet and planetisimal formation; evolution of asteroid families, radiative spin-up and downs of asteroids; and the evolution of dust throughout the solar system. Previously, Bottke was the director of the Center for Lunar Origin and Evolution at SwRI, section manager and senior research scientist at SwRI, and a research associate at Cornell University. Currently, he is a member of the OSIRIS-REx, Lucy, Psyche, and NEOCam science teams. Bottke is the recipient of numerous awards including a fellowship in the Meteoritical Society. In addition he was a 2016 Kavli lecturer, and has delivered the American Geophysical Union’s Shoemaker Lecture. He received his Ph.D. in planetary sciences and astrophysics from the University of Arizona. Bottke has previously served on an Academies’ committee.
Harold C. Connolly
HAROLD C. CONNOLLY is the founding chair and a professor at Rowan University in the Department of Geology. Previously, he was a member of the faculty at the City University of New York; a visiting professor at Hokkaido University in 2015; and was a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology. Connolly’s research interests include geology, cosmochemistry, astrophysics, dynamical modeling; and especially focus on investigations of the origin and evolution of chondrites. He is mission sample scientist and co-investigator of the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. Connolly is also a co-investigator of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s asteroid sample return mission, Hayabusa 2. He is a founding member of the Hayabusa 2 and OSIRIS-REx integration team. He is the recipient of the U.S. Antarctic Service Medal from the Department of Navy, and a fellow of the IMeteoritical Society. Connolly received a Ph.D. in geological sciences from Rutgers University. He has not previously served on an Academies’ committee.
Thomas D. Jones
THOMAS D. JONES is a senior research scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, a not-for-profit research institute of the Florida State University System. He is a planetary scientist and consultant to NASA and the aerospace community. As an astronaut with NASA, Jones logged more than 52 days in space. On STS-59 he conducted science operations for Space Radar Laboratory (SRL-I); was the payload commander on STS-68’s SRL-II, helped deploy and recover science satellites on STS-80, and with the STS-98 crew delivered the U.S. Lab Destiny to the International Space Station. Previous employers include Science Applications International Corporation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Air Command (as a B-52 pilot). Previously, Jones served on the NASA Advisory Council and is a board member of USRA, the Association of Space Explorers, and the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. He is the recipient of the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, four NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Exceptional Service award, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. In 2018, he was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Jones attended the Air Force Academy and received a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona. He has previously served on an Academies’ committee.
Stefanie Milam
STEFANIE N. MILAM is the James Webb Space Telescope deputy project scientist for planetary science at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Her research interests include measurements of the isotopic composition of evolved stars to determine the nucleosynthetic processes that have taken place, chemical enrichments that might occur in the mass-loss process, and how the enrichment is distributed to the interstellar medium, star-forming regions, and planetary systems. Previously, Milam was a principal investigator at the SETI Institute and at NASA Ames Research Center. She is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Division of Planetary Sciences, the AAS Laboratory Astrophysics Division, the ACS Astrochemistry Subdivision, and the International Astronomical Union. Milam received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Arizona. She has previously served on an Academies’ committee.
Edgard G. Rivera-Valentin
EDGARD G. RIVERA-VALENTIN is a staff scientist at the Universities Space Research Association in the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Their research interests include using numerical methods, spacecraft and ground-based observations, as well as experimental results to understand solar system bodies as a system. Previously, Rivera-Valentin was a staff planetary scientist in the Planetary Radar Group at Arecibo Observatory, a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University, and a senior graduate assistant at the University of Arkansas. They are the recipient of numerous awards including the NASA Planetary Science Division’s Early Career Fellow award, a doctoral academy fellow at the University of Arkansas, the Diversity Leadership Award and the Metzger Award in Astronomy at Alfred University. Rivera-Valentin received a Ph.D. in space and planetary science from the University of Arkansas. They have not previously served on an Academies’ committee.
Daniel J. Scheeres
DANIEL J. SCHEERES (NAE) is the A. Richard Seebass Endowed Chair and distinguished professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences. Scheeres has studied the dynamics of the asteroid environment from a scientific, engineering, and navigation perspective since 1992 and has been involved with NASA’s NEAR mission to asteroid Eros, the Japanese Hayabusa missions to asteroids Itokawa and Ryugu. He is a co-investigator on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu and leads the Radio Science team of that mission, and is the principal investigator of Janus, a NASA SIMPLEx mission currently in Phase B. He has published a Springer-Praxis book on orbital mechanics about small bodies entitled Orbital Motion in Strongly Perturbed Environments: Applications to Asteroid, Comet and Planetary Satellite Orbiters. Asteroid 8887 is named “Scheeres” in recognition of his contributions to the scientific understanding of the dynamical environment about asteroids. Scheeres is a fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Astronautical Society. He has been awarded the Dirk Brouwer Award from the American Astronautical Society. He earned his Ph.D. for aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. He has served on the Academies’ Committee on Assessment of the U.S. Air Force's Astrodynamic Standards and the NEO Mitigation Panel.
Rhonda Stroud
RHONDA STROUD is the head of the Nanoscale Materials Section at the Naval Research Laboratory. She is a materials physicist and planetary scientist focusing on nanostructures, including quasicrystals and aerogel, and on the materials that make up comets and cosmic dust. In addition, she pioneered the use of the focused ion beam technology in the study of meteorites. Stroud joined the Naval Research Laboratory as a post-doctoral researcher after completing her doctorate. She has served as an external reviewer for the Materials Division at Argonne National Laboratory, on the Department of Energy’s external review committee for the electron microscopy user facilities at Oak Ridge National Lab, and the National Center for Electron Microscopy at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Stroud is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Meteoritical Society. She received a Ph.D. in physics from the Washington University in Saint Louis. Stroud has previously served on Academies’ committees.
Megan B. Syal
MEGAN BRUCK SYAL is a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the Design Physics Division. Bruck Syal specializes in experimental and numerical simulation of planetary impacts, including hypervelocity impact experiments (with an emphasis on porous and volatile-rich materials) and modeling of impact events in a variety of shock physics codes. Additionally, she is very active in the field of planetary defense, supporting: NASA’s DART mission with simulations of the planned 2022 spacecraft impact at Didymos B, NASA-FEMA Asteroid Impact Tabletop Exercises, and a NASA-NNSA interagency collaboration on hazardous asteroid mitigation case studies. Previously, Syal was a postdoctoral researcher at LLNL, and a data specialist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Center. She is a recipient of a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship, a NASA Group Achievement Award (for her involvement in the Deep Impact - EPOXI mission Science Team), and a Brown University Graduate Fellowship. She obtained her Ph.D. in planetary geosciences at Brown University. Bruck Syal has previously served on an Academies’ committee.
Myriam Telus
MYRIAM TELUS is an assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include studying the constraining timescales and conditions of planetesimal formation and evolution via elemental, isotopic and petrographic analyses of meteorites. Prior to joining the University of California, Santa Cruz, Telus was a postdoctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institute of Washington. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2019 NASA Planetary Science Early Career Award, the 2011 Watumull Scholarship for excellence in graduate research from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Telus received a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has not previously served on an Academies committee.
Audrey Thirouin
AUDREY THIROUIN is a research scientist at Lowell Observatory. Her research interests include physical and dynamical properties of the small bodies in the solar system such as asteroids, comets, Centaurs, Trojans, and Trans-Neptunian Objects. She is particularly interested in the rotational properties of these bodies and what we can learn from them. Previously, Thirouin was a research assistant at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, the Centre de Spectrometrie Nucleaire et de Spectrometrie de Masse, and the Institut de Mecanique Celeste et Calcul d’Ephemerides. She is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the Division for Planetary Sciences, and a member of the Spanish Society of Astronomy. Thirouin received her Ph.D. in astronomy and planetary science from the University of Granada. She has not previously served on an Academies’ committee.


Chad Trujillo
CHAD TRUJILLO is an associate professor at the Northern Arizona University. His research interests focus on the Kuiper belt, inner Oort cloud, the outer solar system, planet formation, Titan, and active asteroids. Previously, Trujillo was the head of adaptive optics, astronomer, and science fellow at the Gemini Observatory. In addition, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology and a research assistant at the University of Hawaii. Trujillo is the principal investigator on three previous NASA programs including Exploring the Inner Oort Cloud, Beyond the Kuiper Belt Edge, and Primordial Solar System Ices. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2015 AURA Service Award for Science and the Science Spectrum Magazine 2005 Trailblazer award. Trujillo received a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Hawaii. He has not previously served on an Academies’ committee.
Benjamin P. Weiss
BENJAMIN P. WEISS is a professor of planetary sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also serves as chair of the Program in Planetary Sciences, and director of the Paleomagnetism Laboratory. His research interests include the study of the formation, evolution, and history of planetary bodies, with a focus on paleomagnetism and geomagnetism, geophysics, meteoritics, and habi tability. Previously, Weiss was a visiting Miller Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, a visiting professor at the Institut de Physique de Globe de Paris, a Victor O. Starr assistant professor at MIT, and a scientist at the California Institute of Technology. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union, the Charles E. Reed Faculty Initiatives Award, and the Milton and Francis Clauswer Doctoral Prize. Weiss received a Ph.D. in planetary science and geology from the California Institute of Technology. He has not previously served on an Academies’ committee.
David H. Smith - (Staff Officer)

Events


Event Type :  
TeleConference

Description :   

Fifth meeting of panel.  All sessions likely to be closed.


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


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

Contact Name:  -
Contact Email:  -
Contact Phone:  -

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
TeleConference

Description :   

Fourth panel meeting.  Likely to include both open and closed sessions.  Agenda and Zoom details will be posted at a later date.


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


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

Contact Name:  -
Contact Email:  -
Contact Phone:  -

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Some sessions are open and some sessions are closed

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
TeleConference

Description :   

Third meeting of panel.  Likely to include both open and closed sessions.  Agenda and Zoom details will be posted at a later date


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


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

Contact Name:  -
Contact Email:  -
Contact Phone:  -

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Some sessions are open and some sessions are closed

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
TeleConference

Description :   

Second meeting of panel.  Will include both open and closed sessions.  Agenda and Zoom information wiull be posed at a later date.


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


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

Contact Name:  -
Contact Email:  -
Contact Phone:  -

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Some sessions are open and some sessions are closed

Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Event Type :  
TeleConference

Description :   

First meeting of panel. All sessions likely to be closed 


Registration for Online Attendance :   
NA

Registration for in Person Attendance :   
NA


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

Contact Name:  -
Contact Email:  -
Contact Phone:  -

Supporting File(s)
-
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Yes

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

All members present

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

1. Composition and balance discussion
2. Review of the decadal survey's statement of task
3. Schedule for completion of study and near-term deadlines
4. Review of whitepapers and PMC studies
5. Plans for subsequent meetings

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

1. Whitepapers submitted
2. PMC study reports
3. Vision and Voyages mission study reports
4. Reports mentioned in the statement of task
5. Compilation of reports on planetary defense
6. Recent review reports from the International Space Science Institute

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
October 26, 2020
Publication(s) resulting from the event:

-

Publications

  • Publications having no URL can be seen at the Public Access Records Office
Publications

No data present.