In this  ESA image, taken with an ultra-wide angle fisheye lens Nov. 19, the LISA Pathfinder spacecraft is hidden from view, encapsulated in the upper stage of its Vega rocket.
NASA Astrophysics Director Paul Hertz (middle) shown during a briefing at NASA headquarters in April 2015. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR), launched in 2012, is an Explorer mission that allows astronomers to study the universe in high energy X-rays. (NASA/JPL-Caltech artist's concept)
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

NASA Science Chief Puts Principal Investigators on Notice


NASA's new science chief, Alan Stern, used his first appearance before Congress to put principal investigators on notice: keep your missions on budget or prepare to step aside. Stern, an experienced principal investigator (PI) with his own NASA-funded spacecraft hurtling toward Pluto, said scientists lucky enough to have their mission proposals selected by NASA have an obligation to put their research duties on hold and focus on getting their spacecraft and instruments built. "If their view of a PI-led mission is that the PI is led around, then they are at risk and we will find somebody who can do it better," Stern told the House Science and Technology space and aeronautics subcommittee during a May 2 hearing on NASA's science budget.

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