Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 18:04:43 -0400
Subject: DPS Mailing #01-32: DPS COMMITTEE MTG, PRESS RELEASE

Greetings, DPS Members -
 
       +------------------CONTENTS:-----------------------------+
       |1) NOTES FROM CHAIR: RPT ON DPS COMM MTG, WASHINGTON DC |
       |2) DPS PRESS RELEASE - FY2002 NASA BUDGET CONCERNS      |
       +--------------------------------------------------------+

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NOTES FROM THE CHAIR: REPORT ON DPS COMMITTEE MEETING IN WASHINGTON DC

On August 14 and 15 your DPS Committee met in Washington DC to consider
DPS positions regarding report language in the FY2002 NASA budgets
passed by the House and Senate before the Congress returns after Labor
Day, meet with NASA officials, and conduct DPS business.

In our meeting with NASA officials we were briefed on the status of the
grants programs by Dr. Guenter Riegler, Executive Director for Science
in the Office of Space Science, who reported continuing efforts at NASA
Headquarters to avoid the processing problems of earlier this year. We
also heard from Dr. Marc Allen, OSS Director for Strategic and
International Planning, on the HQ view of the planetary decadal study.
Dr. Colleen Hartman, Associate Director of the OSS Solar System
Exploration Division briefed us on the outer planets missions and
technology programs, the DSN, and advanced technology propulsion system
programs potentially impacted by the Senate and House versions of the
NASA budget. Dr. James Garvin, Mars Exploration Program Scientist, laid
out the Mars program as it us currently envisioned beyond 2005, and
discussed the effects of different budget scenarios. Dr. Carl Pilcher,
Director of the Solar System Exploration Division, Dr. Anne Kinney,
Director of the Astronomy and Physics Division, and Dr. Jay Bergstralh,
Chief Scientist of the SSED, were also present and participated in the
discussions.

After the meeting at NASA Headquarters we relocated to AAS Headquarters
where we were briefed by Dr. Richard O'Toole of JPL Federal Relations
on the JPL perspective of programs potentially impacted in the Senate
and House versions of the NASA budget.

After considerable discussion, the DPS Committee adopted the position
given in the press release which follows this report.

Other business conducted by the DPS Committee:

Grants programs - 

Given the importance of these programs to our membership (and 
profession) we are continuing to monitor the situation. Program
managers are still needed at NASA Headquarters, and we are providing
what help we can in filling those positions. A more detailed 
announcement will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.

Job Announcements on the DPS Exploder -

The Committee approved an experiment for 'one line, one time' job
announcements on the DPS Exploder. Such announcements may be 
submitted through a webform on the DPS website. Go to 
http://www.aas.org/~dps.

Deputy Press Officer - 

The Committee has created the position of DPS Deputy Press Officer
which will run concurrently with the term of the DPS Press Officer,
and will act as his or her backup. The Deputy Press Officer will be 
appointed by the DPS Committee and does not serve as a member of the 
DPS Committee (though a DPS Committee member can serve as Deputy 
Press Officer). John Spencer, who will be rotating off the DPS 
Committee in November, was appointed to this position. We appreciate 
his continuing service to the DPS. 

DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee - 

I would like to thank all of you who volunteered to serve on the
newly constituted FRS. We received a number of excellent candidates
and making a selection among them was quite difficult. The appointments
are as follows:

	Don Davis (Planetary Science Institute) - Chair, 1 year appt.
	David Atkinson (University of Idaho) - 2 year appt.
	Walt Harris (University of Wisconsin-Madison) - 3 year appt.
	Stephen Larson (DPS Committee) - ex officio, 1 year appt.

Beginning at our 2002 meeting in Michigan, new members will begin their
terms at the DPS Business meeting. There will be a new three-year 
position available each year as members cycle off. The FRS will be 
essential to maintaining information needed for the DPS to engage in 
effective legislative education and political action into the future. 

Legislative Education - 

Bob Nelson, our Past Chair, offered a blueprint for legislative 
education which will be very useful by offering guidance for future 
such activities. It is being iterated by the DPS Committee.

Mark V. Sykes, 
DPS Chair
dpschair@aas.org

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DPS PRESS RELEASE - FY2002 NASA BUDGET CONCERNS

The Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical
Society strongly endorses open competition in the selection of future
NASA missions, and welcomes language to this effect in the Senate NASA
appropriations bill, which will soon be the subject of a joint
House-Senate conference committee. We are concerned, however, about
proposed changes in ongoing programs including Europa Orbiter and the
Telecommunications and Mission Operations Directorate (TMOD, which
includes the Deep Space Network) that would impact the ability of the
US Space Program to conduct current and future missions.

In the case of Europa Orbiter, reopening the program's status at this
point risks losing the progress made to date in developing new
technologies for outer solar system missions, while substantially
increasing the cost of a mission in which a large investment has
already been made, perhaps to the point of making it impractical to
fly.

Likewise, removing the control of the TMOD from JPL carries the risk 
of dissipating a highly integrated group of research and control 
engineers. This national resource has in the past provided critical 
support for space activities developed at research centers around the 
country. Lack of continuity in such a crucial support facility may put 
at risk our nation's ability to operate deep space missions 
successfully.

The DPS is the world's largest professional organization dedicated to 
the exploration of the solar system. 

Contact:  Dr. Mark V. Sykes,
          DPS Chair
          520-621-5381
          sykes@as.arizona.edu

          Dr. Wesley T. Huntress, 
          DPS Vice-Chair
          202-478-8910
          huntress@gl.ciw.edu

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