Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 12:40:25 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: DPS Mailing #01-20: NASA-NSF input, LPI & ASP directors, LPSC, SSAC report

Greetings, DPS Members-
 
       +------------------CONTENTS:-----------------------------+
       |1) The future of NSF and NASA astronomy                 |
       |2) LPI AND ASP DIRECTOR OPENINGS                        |
       |3) CHANGED DATES AND RULES FOR THE NEXT LPSC            |
       |4) NASA SPACE SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT         |
       +--------------------------------------------------------+

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NOTES FROM THE CHAIR - The future of NSF and NASA astronomy

I would like your input.

As a consequence of a statement in the FY2002 Bush Budget "blueprint", the NSF
and NASA has requested that the National Research Council convene a panel 
to conduct an assessment of the organizational effectiveness of Federal 
support for astronomical sciences (this includes planetary astronomy). The
study will provide a venue for a discussion of the pros and cons of transferring
NSF's astronomy responsibilities to NASA. It will also consider other options
(transferring NASA's astronomy responsibilities to NSF?).

A committee of experts has been formed 
( http://www.nationalacademies.org/bpa/projects/brp/ 
- this site provides additional background). This committee is charged with the
following tasks:

- Assess the organizational effectiveness of Federal support of astronomical 
sciences. 

- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of transferring NSF's astronomy 
responsibilities to NASA. 

- Consider other options for addressing the management and organizational 
issues identified by the committee and by recent NRC reports. 

I will be testifying before this committee in Washington DC on behalf of the 
DPS on June 13. At present, my concern is making sure the committee is aware 
of the importance of the groundbased planetary astronomy programs supported by 
NASA to the definition and support of solar system missions and the 
interpretation of their resultant data. It would be, in my opinion, 
programmatically unsound to shift these programs from NASA to NSF. 

I welcome your comments on this and the other charges to the committee. I would
like to hear your thoughts about planetary astronomy programs in NSF in the 
context of the above, by 9 June if possible. Thank you.

Mark V. Sykes, dpschair@aas.org

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LPI AND ASP DIRECTOR OPENINGS

A search is open for a new Director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute,
the organization that sponsors the annual Lunar & Planetary Science
Conference and frequent other meetings in planetary science.  Details can
be found at:

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lpidir.html

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific, also an occasional sponsor of
meetings with planetary themes and an organization with a major educational
and public outreach emphasis, is also searching for a new Executive
Director.  Details can be found at:

http://www.aspsky.org/news/execdirect.html

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CHANGED DATES AND RULES FOR THE NEXT LUNAR & PLANETARY SCIENCE CONFERENCE

The next Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be held March 4-8,
2002.  This is approximately two weeks earlier than usual, and will
necessitate an earlier abstract deadline of December 5, 2001.  Also, due to
the increase in numbers of submissions over the years, there will be a
limit of TWO submissions per first author, including oral, poster, or
print-only abstracts, but not counting an invited talk.  Full details can
be found at:

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/33rdlpsc.html

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NASA SPACE SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT

>From Dr. Steven Squyres, Chair SScAC:
The findings and recommendations of the SScAC from its meeting on March 20-22,
2001, are available at http://spacescience.nasa.gov/adv/SScAC0103.htm

Subjects:
        Solar Probe
        Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST)
        Reorganization of the Code S Advisory Structure
        Sounding Rockets and Balloons
        Attached ISS Payloads as MIDEX Projects
        Mars Exploration
        Computer Security
        Education and Public Outreach Task Force

----------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Nick Schneider, on behalf of the DPS Committee
                      (submissions to Al Harris: awharris@lithos.jpl.nasa.gov)