Statement of

Claude R. Canizares, Ph.D.
Former Chair of the Space Studies Board
National Research Council


Director of the Center for Space Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

before the

Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
Committee on Science
The U.S. House of Representatives

The State of NASA’s Space Science Enterprise


Mr. Chairman, Ranking Minority Member, and members of the subcommittee: thank you for inviting the Space Studies Board (SSB) here to testify.
My name is Claude Canizares and I am professor of physics and director of the Center for Space Research at MIT. My research field is astrophysics,
specifically X-ray astronomy, and I am a Principal Investigator on the NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory. I appear today in my capacity of as former chair of
the Space Studies Board.

As you know, the SSB is the unit of the National Research Council through which the Council provides independent advice to the federal government
on civil space science and applications research, and that is responsible for representing the National Academies in international relations in these areas.

The Board conducts its work through a cadre of about 180 experts drawn from academia, industry, and other institutions who serve as volunteers on the
Board or its committees and task groups. Another group of 30 to 70 experts serves each year as independent external reviewers of our reports before they are
released. Since January, the Board has published 17 reports covering a broad range of space-related topics, providing advice not only to NASA, but also to
NOAA, NSF, and DoD. A complete bibliography of SSB reports for the past 3 years is appended to my statement.

Included in the recent reports of the Space Studies Board are several studies regarding strategies for managing space research and making decisions
about the appropriate portfolio of mission sizes for space research, and on the development of new technologies. Your invitation indicated that my testimony
should focus on these reports, as well as on related topics. With your permission I would also like to reflect briefly on some broader relevant conclusions
drawn from my six years as chair of the Space Studies Board.


Let me begin by addressing the Board’s report, Assessment of Mission Size Trade-offs for NASA’s Earth and Space Science Missions. This report
examines fundamental issues of mission architecture in the nation’s scientific space program and responds to the FY 1999 appropriations conference report,
which requested that NASA commission a study to assess the strengths and weaknesses of small, medium, and large missions. To that end, the study
committee undertook three tasks:

  • Evaluate the general scientific and programmatic strengths and weaknesses of small, medium, and large missions;
  • Identify which elements of the science strategies will require medium or large missions to accomplish high-priority objectives; and
  • Recommend general principles or criteria for evaluating the mix of mission sizes in Earth and space science programs.

The committee approached these questions in light of the changing environment at NASA, which has been conducting an increasing number of smaller
space and Earth science missions having shorter development times and using streamlined management methods, advanced technologies, and more compact
platforms than had been employed in the past. The committee referred to this approach as the faster-better-cheaper (FBC) paradigm, a variant of “smaller,
faster, cheaper, better” and similar phrases that have been used to describe the changing environment for space research missions.

The committee interpreted the FBC paradigm as a set of principles (including, but not limited to, streamlined management, flexibility, and
technological capability) that are independent of the size or scope of a mission but can be matched appropriately to the science objectives and requirements for
a given mission. The term “mission” means the entire process of carrying out a space-based research activity, including scientific conception, spacecraft and
instrument design and development, selection of development contractors, selection of launch capability, mission operations, data analysis, and dissemination
of scientific results.

How FBC is defined and how FBC principles are applied to programs of any scale have many implications for the space program. These include the
tolerance for risk; strategic planning; the character of science investigated; the products of missions; the training of young scientists and engineers; the role
of international cooperation; the role of universities, industry, government laboratories, and NASA centers; and the general health of space science.
Decisions about these programs in terms of cost and size trade-offs have to recognize that the variables are more numerous and much more complex than
might at first be supposed.

“Faster” missions can be made so by streamlining the management and development effort, by shortening the development schedule, by using the best
available technology, and perhaps even by knowingly accepting more risk. In general, such methods will also lead to a “cheaper” mission. However, for
NASA research programs, innovations in technology or management are not ends unto themselves. The clear and obvious meaning of “better” is that more
science – more knowledge and better quality and quantity of measurements – about some aspects of the universe around us is returned for a given investment
and that such returns occur in a timely manner.

The impression that faster-better-cheaper also means “smaller” has raised concerns that there is a growing shift away from larger-scale endeavors in
the Earth and space science programs. However, the tendency to equate FBC with the size or cost of a space or Earth science mission can overlook a number of
things. These include requirements unique to different disciplines, the complexities of scientific objectives, time and spatial scales, and techniques for
implementation involved in determining the scope of a mission. Total costs, mission capabilities, and the ultimate scientific results of space programs are a
complex combination of the skill and performance of everyone associated with mission development, schedules, approaches to handling technical and
management risks, technological implementation, and management style.

Since the Board’s report was released in mid-March, the Mars Program Independent Assessment Team, led by Thomas Young, issued its findings, and
your committee has held hearings on that assessment. The Board’s Assessment of Mission Size Trade-offs report is entirely consistent with the Young report
and is complementary in a number of ways. I believe that the conclusions of the Board’s report are still sound and in keeping with the sense of the Young
report (i.e., that FBC is a philosophy and not a prescription for how to do small missions and that it needs to be applied correctly across missions of all sizes.)


The committee report supports several principles being implemented in the FBC methodology. Specifically, it found a number of positive aspects of the
FBC approach, including the following:

  • A mixed portfolio of mission sizes is crucial in virtually all Earth and space science disciplines to accomplish the various research objectives. The FBC
    approach has produced useful improvements across the spectrum of programs regardless of absolute mission size or cost.

  • Shorter development cycles have enhanced scientific responsiveness, lowered costs, involved a larger community, and enabled the use of the best
    available technologies.

  • The increased frequency of missions has broadened research opportunities for the Earth and space sciences.  
  • Scientific objectives can be met with greater flexibility by spreading a program over several missions.

Nonetheless, some problems exist in the practical application of the FBC approach, including the following:

  • The heavy emphasis on cost and schedule has too often compromised scientific outcomes (e.g. scope of mission, data return, and analysis of results).
  • Technology development is a cornerstone of the FBC approach for space science missions but is often not aligned with science-based mission objectives.
  • The cost and schedule constraints for some missions may lead to choosing designs, management practices, and technologies that introduce additional

  • The nation’s launch infrastructure is limited in its ability to accommodate smaller spacecraft in a timely, reliable, and cost-effective way.

Recommendations to NASA

Faster-Better-Cheaper Principles

Faster-better-cheaper methods of management, technology infusion, and implementation have produced useful improvements regardless of absolute
mission size or cost. However, while improvements in administrative procedures have proven their worth in shortening the time to science, experience from
mission losses has shown that great care must be exercised in making changes to technical management techniques lest mission success be compromised.
Consequently, we recommend that NASA should transfer appropriate elements of the FBC management principles to the entire portfolio of space science and
Earth science mission sizes and cost ranges. But we also recommend that the management approach of each project should be tailored to the size, complexity,
scientific value, and cost of the mission.

Science Scope and Balance

The nature of phenomena to be observed and the technological means of executing such observations are constrained fundamentally by the laws of
physics, such that some worthwhile science objectives cannot be met by small satellites. The strength and appeal of faster-better-cheaper is to promote
efficiency in design and timely execution–shorter time to science–of space missions in comparison to what are perceived as less efficient or more costly
traditional methods. A mixed portfolio of mission sizes is crucial in virtually all disciplines. An emphasis on medium-sized missions has currently precluded
comprehensive payloads on planetary missions and has tended to discourage large mission planning. Consequently, we recommend that NASA ensure that
science objectives – and their relative importance in a given discipline – are the primary determinants of what missions are carried out and their sizes.
Mission planning should respond to (1) the link between science priorities and science payload, (2) timeliness in meeting science objectives, and (3) risks
associated with the mission.

Technology and Instrumentation

Technology development is a cornerstone of a first-rate Earth and space science program. Advanced technology for instruments and spacecraft systems
and its timely infusion into space research missions are essential for carrying out almost all space missions, irrespective of mission size. The fundamental
goal of technology infusion is to obtain the highest performance at the lowest cost. The scientific program in Earth and space science missions conducted
under the FBC approach has been critically dependent on instruments developed in the past. The ongoing development of new scientific instrumentation is
essential for sustaining the FBC paradigm. Therefore, we recommend that NASA maintain a vigorous technology program in the development of advanced
instrumentation and spacecraft hardware that will enable a portfolio of missions of varying sizes and complexities. NASA should ensure that funding for such
development efforts is augmented and appropriately balanced with space mission budget lines.

Access to Space

The high cost of access to space remains one of the principal impediments to using the best and most natural mix of small and large spacecraft. While
smaller spacecraft might appear to be the right solution for addressing many scientific questions from orbit, present launch costs make them an unfavorable
solution from an overall program budgetary standpoint. Moreover, larger missions, too, are plagued by the excessive costs per unit mass for present launch

Furthermore, the national space transportation policy requiring all U.S. government payloads to be launched on vehicles manufactured in the United
States prevents taking advantage of low-cost access to space on foreign launch vehicles. We recommend that NASA develop more affordable launch options for
gaining access to space, including – possibly – foreign launch vehicles, so that a mixed portfolio of mission sizes becomes a viable approach.

International Collaboration

International collaboration has proven to be a reliable and cost-effective means to enhance the scientific return from missions and broaden the
portfolio of space missions. Nevertheless, it is sometimes considered, within NASA, to be detrimental, perhaps because it adds complexity and can bring
delays to a mission and, in part, can increase NASA’s financial risk. In the past, NASA had an international payload line within its budgets, which was an
extremely useful device for funding the planning, proposal preparation, and development and integration of peer-reviewed science instruments selected to fly
on foreign-led missions. This line offered the U.S. scientific community highly leveraged access to important new international missions, by providing
investigators with additional opportunities to fly instruments and retrieve data, especially during long hiatuses between U.S. missions in a given discipline.
We recommend that NASA encourage international collaboration in all sizes and classes of missions, so that international missions will be able to fill key
niches in NASA’s space and Earth science programs. Specifically, NASA should restore separate, peer-reviewed announcements of opportunity for
enhancements to foreign-led space research missions.


A related topic of interest covers the Board’s Continuing Assessment of Technology Development in NASA’s Office of Space Science. This review,
which was conducted by the Board’s Task Group on Technology Development in NASA’s Office of Space Science (OSS), examined NASA’s response to the
recommendations in the 1998 SSB report, Assessment of Technology Development in NASA’s Office of Space Science. Since these reports were issued,
NASA has moved the cross-enterprise technology development program into the Office of Aero-Space Technology (OAST). The principles and
recommendations in the Board’s 1998 and 2000 reports remain as important and relevant for the reorganized program as they were before.

Summary of the 1998 Report

The 1998 report recognized the transfer of NASA’s cross-agency technology function to the Office of Space Science (OSS) as a positive step for two
reasons:  (1) Programs under OSS are the largest consumers of space technology, and (2) OSS has a well-developed strategic planning process. However, the
task group was concerned with NASA’s definition of core competencies. Some NASA Centers claim that their competencies cover an extensive and broad
range of technologies.  No organization that has realistic fiscal constraints can hope to be competitive or world-class across such a wide range. The task group
recommended that NASA narrow the core competencies to those that meet stringent criteria. Thus, individual NASA Centers would not have active programs
in all technologies relevant to the mission requirements of the Center. The task group recommended that NASA explore alternatives to maintaining
in-house, hands-on research and development programs to achieve smart buying.

To be successful, an advanced technology development (ATD) program should be a careful mix of centralized and decentralized activities. The task
group recommended in the 1998 report that the planning and selection processes be maintained as Headquarters activities. Other activities, such as selection
of near-term technologies for a particular mission, could be delegated to the Centers when they are not competing for these technology development activities.

Many of the recommendations in the 1998 report called for external review and advice, including planning, program reviews, evaluation of competing
proposals, core competency selection, and Center quality review. Providing adequate Headquarters staff to manage the reviews, utilizing clear investment and
performance metrics, and making Centers more accountable to Headquarters are essential elements of the review process.

Assessment Regarding Planning

Competition and Peer Review

The task group found excellent responsiveness on the part of OSS to the task group’s 1998 technology planning recommendations. Within OSS the
process whereby technology plans are being linked with science objectives and program plans may well be a model of excellence in strategic planning. In
addition, the task group lauded the progress toward an objective and impartial technology program selection process administered at the NASA Centers.
NASA’s report that Center tasks were competitively peer reviewed during the FY 2000 selection process reflects a very positive change.
When applied to technology tasks, the concept of competitive peer review must be broadened to include not only peer experts in the specific
technologies being addressed, but also expert engineering generalists who can provide a broad perspective on the overall relevance of technology development
proposals to NASA’s future needs. In addition, competitive peer review of NASA in-house Cross-Enterprise Technology Development Program activities
should be conducted by experts both inside and outside the centers.

New Millennium Program

The task group supported the change in the New Millennium Program (NMP) that refocuses it on flight demonstration of critical new technologies and
applauded NASA’s intention to use flights of opportunity rather than exclusively dedicated flights. The proposed restoration of the NMP in FY 2001 is
important because without it there will be no program dedicated to flight qualifications of technology.

Cross-cutting Technology

The task group concluded that considerable progress had been made in responding to 1998 recommendations regarding the planning process for
cross-cutting technology. The restructuring of the cross-cutting technology program was viewed as moving in the right direction. For example, the open
solicitation of competitive proposals for the Cross-Enterprise Technology Program was seen as a positive step.

Assessment of Implementation

Core Competencies

The task group viewed core competencies as central to implementing an effective ATD plan across the NASA Centers. The task group also recognized
that the issue of core competencies goes beyond the authority of OSS alone and must be addressed on a NASA-wide level.

Having now heard from several of the Centers on this subject, the task group found little consistency in the selection processes or the criteria used to
select the Center core competencies required to pursue NASA’s mission. That mission includes the preservation of U.S. leadership (not just NASA
leadership) in space science and technology. Thus the selection of NASA’s core competencies must be made with a sense of responsibility to the nation’s
technological health and not just to the “care and feeding” of NASA Centers. It is natural that individual Centers might emphasize the latter, which is one
reason that a Headquarters-led (with major Center participation) effort should be made in defining and locating NASA’s internal core competencies.

An approach that employs industrial measures such as competitive edge versus strategic vulnerability can be modified to make judgments about
NASA’s core competencies. For example, technologies that have a very high potential and for which the external (to NASA) capability is very low are clearly
candidates for a NASA core competency. In contrast, those technologies that are mature and widely available externally can be purchased virtually as
“commodities.”  Those with a high potential for advancement that are also widely available could be candidates for strategic purchasing requiring a “smart
buyer.”  The task group strongly recommends that Headquarters, working with the Centers, take the issue of core competency seriously. At a time of
shrinking budgets yet great opportunity to raise the technology level of our nation’s space program, selection of the proper NASA Center core technologies
with full knowledge of what capability is important and what is available in industry and academia will be a requirement for success.

Headquarters vs. Center Roles

Despite the “impracticality” of the task group’s recommendation that NASA Headquarters should conduct make-or-buy decisions and competitive
procurements for all long-term ATD, it does appear that NASA is making considerable progress in satisfying the intent of the recommendation. It is
clarifying the roles of Headquarters and the Centers, retaining certain important decisions at Headquarters, and expanding the “reach” of Headquarters
through the effective use of technology area managers at the Centers.

Assessment Regarding Infrastructure

Workforce Mobility

While recognizing the difficulty in implementing the 1998 recommendation to foster increased workforce mobility among Centers and between NASA
and industry, universities, and other government agencies the task group concluded that NASA has the ability to do more. There remains a need to encourage
identification of alternative approaches to ensuring that Centers can be “smart buyers.”  The smart-buyer argument should not be used to maintain
unnecessary competency at the Centers. NASA routinely uses IPAs (Intergovernmental Personnel Act appointments) to operate its science programs.
However, IPAs have not been effectively used to provide transfer of information into the technology programs. The task group continues to encourage NASA
to expand its use of IPAs and other cooperative agreements at Headquarters and at the Centers, specifically to transfer technology information (or expertise)
into NASA technology programs.

Role of the Chief Scientist

This position of Chief Scientist provides NASA Headquarters an important focus for evaluating the progress of technology investment in strengthening
the nation’s science investment. A first step toward this might be a standing committee organized by the Chief Scientist to assess the progress in important
technologies for OSS and other science programs defined by the roadmaps. If the Centers are to have essentially non-overlapping responsibilities in the
development of new technologies, then it is essential that Headquarters management understand the status of the various projects to balance funding
allocations in a manner that achieves a maximum number of significant enhancements to the science missions.

Full Cost Accounting

Full cost accounting is necessary to permit proper program management, and it will revolutionize the way NASA does business. The lack of full cost
accounting makes it difficult to accurately determine and compare the costs of different programs. As pointed out in the task group’s 1998 report, without
accurate fiscal data about funds, allocations, and program costs, it is impossible for NASA to make informed judgments about Center roles, make-or-buy
decisions, or contract awards for competitive procurements that include NASA Centers. However, the task group was encouraged to see that NASA’s efforts to
implement full cost accounting appear to be nearing fruition and that they are projected to be completed by FY 2002.

Performance Measurement

Independent External Reviews

The task group recognizes that NASA is increasing the level of technology and programmatic external reviews. However, based on material presented
to the task group there appears to be little change in Center external reviews. The task group has seen no evidence of Headquarters leadership or interest in
the Center review process. There is no coordinated and consistent process for Center review. Each Center has developed its own method of review. In some
cases, their customers are reviewing Centers. These customer reviews do not equate to impartial external reviews. NASA might find value in benchmarking
against some of our leading industrial organizations.


The Board attends to the international dimension of space science, and many of its reports address international aspects of the questions or issues
studied. In December 1999 the Board published U.S.-European-Japanese Workshop on Space Cooperation: Summary Report. The workshop, which was held
in Tokyo during the spring of 1999, brought together a group of scientists under the auspices of the European Space Science Committee, the Space Research
Committee of the Science Council of Japan, and the SSB to examine lessons learned from three trilateral space missions. The workshop reaffirmed earlier
findings about key elements of successful international scientific cooperation published in a 1998 joint report with the European Space Science Committee,
U.S.-European Collaboration in Space Science. These keys to success included establishing scientific support though peer review, building on an historical
foundation of existing partnerships, working from shared goals and objectives, defining clear roles and responsibilities, having an agreed-upon process for
data validation and distribution, and applying a sense of partnership for all participants. The workshop report also raised some issues and questions for
consideration. They included the challenge of effectively planning for cooperation among nations and agencies having different strategic planning processes,
especially in the era of the faster-better-cheaper approach to mission management, and the continuing need to handle legal issues effectively (e.g.
governmental memoranda of understanding, waivers of liability, and export licenses). At the same time, the report emphasized the indelible impression
cooperation makes on the participating individuals, especially from the scientific and technical gains of working together and the intercultural exchange


Turning now to strategic planning, the preparation of Roadmaps is a key aspect of the strategic planning process currently adopted by the Office of
Space Science (OSS). Their primary purpose is to summarize the scientific objectives and programmatic recommendations put forward by each of OSS’s
four component groups, or science themes. OSS’s four Roadmaps serve as input to the creation of the office’s overall strategic plan. At NASA’s request, the
Board’s Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) recently conducted a scientific assessment of the Roadmap for the solar system
exploration theme.
            That Roadmap, Exploration of the Solar System – Science and Mission Strategy, describes plans to address three goals:

  • Explain the formation and evolution of the solar system and of Earth within it;
  • Seek the origin of life and its existence beyond Earth; and
  • Chart our destiny in the solar system.

COMPLEX’s overall assessment of the program outlined in the Roadmap was mixed. The committee was generally positive about many of the near-
and mid-term flight missions and related activities highlighted in the Roadmap because they address priorities outlined in past advisory reports. COMPLEX
was particularly pleased to see that:

  • High priority is placed on Mars exploration and that a new initiative relating to Mars sample handling and analysis was proposed;
  • Attention is paid to the Discovery program, and Europa Orbiter and Pluto/Kuiper Express missions;
  • A prominent place is given to a comet nucleus sample-return mission – the highest priority mission advocated by COMPLEX;
  • The proposed program of planetary exploration attempts to systematically address key physical and chemical processes rather than merely cataloging and
    classifying planetary environments; and

  • An appropriate balance is struck between the broad thematic goals of solar system exploration advocated by the SSB – understanding the origins and
    evolution of planetary systems and life, and understanding the complex interplay of physical and chemical processes which create the diverse planetary
    environments seen in the solar system.

These positives aside, COMPLEX had a number of concerns about particular aspects of the Roadmap and the program of solar system exploration that
it advocates. The report suggests that the document could be strengthened by changes that would:

  • More clearly articulate the scientific objectives of solar system exploration, the critical measurements that must be made to meet these objectives, and
    how existing or proposed missions will make these measurements;

  • Provide a more thorough scientific justification for both existing and proposed mission lines;
  • Clarify scheduling of, and the rationale for, several of the proposed missions (e.g., Europa Lander, Titan Explorer, and Saturn Ring Observer) relative to
    the flight programs they logically build on (e.g., Europa Orbiter and Cassini/Huygens);

  • Describe the process by which the roadmap was assembled, the identity of the authoring group, or the means by which the recommended mission
    sequences were prioritized;

  • Clarify the scientific rationale for some of the proposed mission lines (e.g., “To Build a Planet”) and some of the proposed missions (e.g., the Venus
    Surface Sample Return mission);

  • Enhance the handling of non-mission activities, such as research and analysis programs and education and public outreach, to better reflect their

  • Sharpen the presentation of important linkages between the Solar System Exploration, Astronomical Search for Origins, and Sun-Earth Connection
    science themes and Astrobiology;

  • Improve the balance in the discussion of how the goals of Solar System Exploration relate to the Astronomical Search for Origins and the Sun-Earth
    Connection science themes, on the one hand, and to Astrobiology, on the other; and

  • Add a more detailed discussion of technological issues.

COMPLEX’s primary finding – that the Roadmap should clearly indicate scientific objectives and the critical measurements that must be made to meet
these objectives, should describe how existing or proposed missions will make these measurements, and should indicate relative priorities – reiterated a
recommendation made in its assessment of the Roadmap’s 1996 edition. Because many of these criticisms result from shortcomings in the Roadmap’s
structure and format, they should not detract inordinately from the many favorable aspects of the program of planetary exploration missions and supporting
activities advocated by NASA.


You also asked me to comment on the Space Studies Board’s review of the draft revision of the NASA Office of Space Science (OSS) strategic plan.
OSS has revised its 1997 strategic plan and is in the process of completing the new document for use as part of the agency’s overall strategic planning process.
At the request of Dr. Edward Weiler, the Associate Administrator for Space Science, the Board has reviewed the draft OSS plan with respect to the following

  • responsiveness to the prior external guidance on key science issues and opportunities provided in recent Board science strategies;
  • attention to interdisciplinary aspects and overall scientific balance;
  • identification and exposition of important opportunities for education and public outreach;
  • integration of technology development with the science program; and
  • general readability and clarity of presentation.

The Board found many aspects of the draft OSS strategic plan to be solidly grounded. For example, the treatment of underlying principles places a
priority on scientific merit for program planning and budgeting, and it affirms that the OSS strategy is based on scientific goals. It emphasizes participation
by the extramural community in planning, peer review, and research–hallmarks of the strength of the OSS program. The Board also found the sections on
recent accomplishments, the current program, and the flight program for 2003 and beyond to be particularly useful.

Nevertheless, there are also areas where the plan could be strengthened, and those are addressed in the report. They include attention to
methodologies for prioritizing and allocating resources, mapping linkages between goals and objectives and planned flight missions, support of core
capabilities of universities, international cooperation, integration of research and data analysis into the strategy, technology infusion and resource allocation,
and specificity in plans for education and outreach.


Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium, the decadal survey report of the National Research Council’s Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey
Committee (AASC), was released on May 19. The report was presented to NASA for input into the agency’s strategic planning process and was also presented
to the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The report carries on the astronomy and astrophysics community’s
tradition of decadal surveys, the most recent of which was the Bahcall committee report of 1991, The Decade of Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The
New Millennium report sets out a science strategy that covers both ground and space-based astronomy and astrophysics, taking a unifed perspective on the
science. The report details the priorities across the discipline for initiatives, missions, and programs. It makes recommendations concerning astronomy and
astrophysics policy, including education, international cooperation, and technology development.

The committee worked with nine sub-panels and involved a significant fraction of the astronomy and astrophysics community, including pertinent
professional societies and prominent international astronomers. Seven of the nine panels dealt with subdisciplinary areas and each prepared a report that
identified the most important scientific goals in their respective areas, prioritized new initiatives needed to achieve those goals, recommended proposals for
technology development, considered the possibilities for international collaboration, and discussed relevant policy issues.

The committee’s report discusses key scientific problems in astronomy: determining the large scale properties of the universe; studying the dawn of
the modern universe; understanding the formation and evolution of black holes of all sizes; studying the formation of stars and their planetary systems,
including the birth and evolution of giant and terrestrial planets; and understanding how the astronomical environment affects Earth.

The report notes that theorists can help guide the choice of instruments and the interpretation of data, and recommends that one or more Theory
Challenges be integrated into most major initiatives to focus attention on project-related theoretical problems. The report also calls for balancing new
initiatives with ongoing programs from the previous survey report (such the Space Infrared Telescope Facility and the Space Interferometry Mission),
strengthening ground-based astronomy and astrophysics, ensuring the diversity of NASA missions, coordinating programs among federal agencies (including
NASA, NSF, and DOE), and collaborating with international partners.

Education is a major item in the report. The recommendations are for improving the opportunities for astronomers to engage in outreach to the K-12
community, to establish astronomy and education department partnerships at a few universities, to develop exemplary science courses for pre-service teachers,
to improve coordination among federal programs funding educational initiatives in astronomy, and to improve public understanding of the achievements of all
NSF-funded science and facilities.

The priorities for major space missions, in order, are the Next Generation Space Telescope, the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, followed by
Constellation-X, a multi-satellite x-ray telescope. These were followed by the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), an ambitious mission that could begin at the
end of the decade, and a Single-Aperture Far Infrared Observatory (SAFIR). Each of these missions offers unique and powerful capabilities. The best
available estimate of cost to the federal government for this category is $2.1 billion, which includes full costs for all initiatives (except TPF and SAFIR for
which only estimates of costs through 2010 are included).

In the moderate scale category, the top-ranked mission is the Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope, which will study extremely energetic
phenomena, followed by the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, a gravitational-wave detector of unprecedented sensitivity. The study of the Sun, which is
important both scientifically and economically, will be carried out by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Next are the Energetic X-ray Imaging Survey
Telescope and a mission to conduct Advanced Radio Interferometry between space and Earth, both of which will provide high-resolution images in their
respective wavelengths. The estimate of costs for this category is $1.35 billion.

In the small program category, the top priority is the creation of a National Virtual Observatory (NVO). The NVO will integrate major astronomical
data archives into a database accessible via the internet with standards and tools for data exploration. Other small program priorities are the Advanced
Cosmic-ray Composition Experiment for the Space Station, augmentation of the NASA Astrophysics Theory Program, the Laboratory Astrophysics Program,
the National Theory Postdoctoral Program, and the Ultra-Long-Duration Balloon Program. The estimate of costs for the small program category is $264
million. The estimated total for these space-based initiatives, excluding technology development, is $3.714 billion.


Let me add a few general observations based on my six years of experience as Chair of the Space Studies Board and nine years of service on the NASA
Advisory Council. One of the most important challenges that we have faced since the dawn of the space age is how best to maintain a vigorous and healthy
interaction between all the players in space research. This is a subtle issue that deals with the very institutional fabric of the U.S. space research community.

This community includes NASA, both headquarters and field centers, universities and industries. Many forces affect the interrelationship of these entities;
the adjustment to faster-better-cheaper missions and how NASA deals with technology development are certainly important among them. Another is how to
adapt and improve past modalities for international cooperation to the faster-paced tempo of current space missions. The latter has become especially tricky
recently because the heightened concerns about export controls of commercial spacecraft have had the presumably unintended consequence of hampering or
even inhibiting the kinds of mutually beneficial international research efforts that have been so successful in space science.

I am convinced that future success of the space research enterprise, like the success of the past, depends on healthy relationships among these entities.
I feel personally that NASA could play a stronger role in fostering the greater research community, more as the National Science Foundation does for many
scientific disciplines. I am pleased that NASA Administrator Goldin has come to a similar conclusion and our Board has been pleased to interact with Gen.
Sam Armstrong (ret), who has recently been charged with addressing this issue. The problem of export controls may also require renewed cooperation by
other agencies, such as the Departments of State and Commerce, OSTP and the Congress, and I am glad that this too is now receiving their attention.

As to the question of strategic planning I would like state my own thoughts about the process. NASA’s roadmaps and strategic plans are prepared by
the agency in close consultation with the scientific community, particularly through NASA’s chartered advisory committees. For several years, NASA has
then asked the Space Studies Board, whose membership is independent and includes many individuals with no connections to NASA, to review draft versions
of the plans in the context of the Board’s past strategies and assessments. I believe that this process has been effective in optimizing the scientific research
program of the agency, which should be commended for adhering closely to such an open process. How NASA pursues new technologies is one area where this
process could be strengthened, as noted in the reports transmitted with this testimony.

With your permission I will close with a very personal statement. It has been a great privilege for me to work with many hundreds of dedicated
scientists who serve as volunteers for the National Research Council and dozens of talented NRC staff. I have also felt that the nation is very fortunate to
have an agency like NASA staffed with so many extraordinarily dedicated and skilled engineers, managers, and scientists. Whatever their triumphs and
occasional tragedies, their devotion to the highest goals of space exploration cannot be questioned. Last, but by no means least, I thank you, Mr. Chairman,
and your fellow members past and present for your unwavering, though not uncritical, support of our nation’s space research enterprise.

Thank you, again, Mr. Chairman for the opportunity to appear before the subcommittee today. I am sure that my successor, as chair of the Board, and
the entire Board membership, stand ready to provide any assistance that you might seek in the future.


Space Studies Board Reports 1998-2000

Published in 2000

Assessment of Mission Size Trade-offs for NASA’s Earth and Space Science Missions

Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium

Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPP and NPOESS Satellites

Federal Funding of Astronomical Research

Future Biotechnology Research on the International Space Station

Issues in the Integration of Research and Operational Satellite Systems for Climate Research: I. Science and Design

Microgravity Research in Support of Technologies for the Human Exploration and Development of Space and Planetary Bodies

Preventing the Forward Contamination of Europa

Review of NASA’s Biomedical Research Program

Review of NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise Research Strategy for 2000-2010
Space Studies Board Annual Report*1999

The Role of Small Satellites in NASA and NOAA Earth Observation Programs

“On Assessment of NASA’s 2000 Solar System Exploration Roadmap,” letter to Dr. Carl Pilcher, NASA’s science program for Solar System Exploration
(April 21)

“On Assessment of Scientific Aspects of the Triana Mission,” letter to Dr. Ghassem R. Asrar, associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Earth Science
(March 3)

“On Continuing Assessment of Technology Development in NASA’s Office of Space Science,” letter to Dr. Edward J. Weiler, associate administrator for
NASA’s Office of Space Science (March 15)

“On the Final Disposition of the Galileo Spacecraft,” letter to Dr. John D. Rummel, planetary protection officer for NASA’s Office of Space Science (June

“Review of NASA’s Office of Space Science Draft Strategic Plan,” letter to Dr. Edward J. Weiler, associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Space Science
(June 1, 2000)

Published in 1999

Institutional Arrangements for Space Station Research

Radiation and the International Space Station: Recommendations to Reduce Risk

A Science Strategy for the Exploration of Europa

A Scientific Rationale for Mobility in Planetary Environments

Size Limits of Very Small Microorganisms: Proceedings of a Workshop

Space Studies Board Annual Report – 1998

U.S.-European-Japanese Workshop on Space Cooperation: Summary Report

“On Antarctic Astronomy,” letter to Dr. Hugh Van Horn, director of NSF’s Division of Astronomical Sciences, and Dr. Karl Erb, director of NSF’s Office of
Polar Programs (August 19)

“Assessment of NASA’s Plans for Post-2002 Earth Observing Missions,” letter to Dr. Ghassem Asrar, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Earth Science
(April 8)

“On the National Science Foundation’s Facility Instrumentation Program,” letter to Dr. Hugh Van Horn, director of NSF’s Division of Astronomical Sciences
(June 2)

Published in 1998

Assessment of Technology Development in NASA’s Office of Space Science

Development and Application of Small Spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radars

Evaluating the Biological Potential in Samples Returned from Planetary Satellites and Small Solar System Bodies:  Framework for Decision Making

The Exploration of Near-Earth Objects

Exploring the Trans-Neptunian Solar System

Failed Stars and Super Planets:  A Report Based on the January 1998 Workshop on Substellar-Mass Objects

Ground-based Solar Research:  An Assessment and Strategy for the Future

Readiness for the Upcoming Solar Maximum

Report of the Workshop on Biology-based Technology to Enhance Human Well-being and Function in Extended Space Exploration

Space Studies Board Annual Report – 1997

A Strategy for Research in Space Biology and Medicine in the New Century

Supporting Research and Data Analysis in NASA’s Science Programs: Engines for Innovation and Synthesis

U.S.-European Collaboration in Space Science

“On ESA’s FIRST and Planck Missions,” letter to Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, Jr., NASA associate administrator for space science (February 18)

“On Climate Change Research Measurements from NPOESS,” letter to Dr. Ghassem Asar, associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Earth Science, and
Mr. Robert S. Winokur, director of NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service

(May 27)

“Assessment of NASA’s Mars Exploration Architecture,” letter to Dr. Carl Pilcher, science program director for NASA’s Solar System Exploration Division
(November 11)