Date: Mon, 9 May 2005 11:48:24 -0500
Subject: DPS Mailing #05-11: Discovery AO (D12) Delay
Greetings, DPS Colleagues,
  1)  Discovery AO (D12) Delay
  2)  Call for Candidate Planetary Geology and Geophysics Study Concepts
  3)  NASA Planetary Science Summer School
  4)  Job Announcement
As many in the DPS community are already aware, the Announcement of 
Opportunity for the latest round of NASA's Discovery Program, scheduled 
for release on April 22, 2005, has been delayed.  The following was 
posted on the NSPIRES website: "The Discovery 2005 AO will not be 
released on April 22, 2005. NASA has received a Congressional inquiry 
regarding the guidelines followed, and decisions made, with respect 
to the Discovery 2004 AO. NASA will release the Discovery 2005 AO 
as soon as possible."
NASA HQ officials assure us that the delay will be temporary 
(perhaps ~1 to 2 weeks from this posting, according to Solar System 
Division Director Andrew Danztler), and that Discovery Program 
budget line is sufficiently well funded to support a new start 
resulting from the 2005 AO once released.  The language of the AO 
should show a new cost cap of $450 M and no restriction on the 
budget profile.  The due dates for proposals will shift with the 
release date.  While any delay in the 2005 AO is regrettable, 
especially following the non-selection of any of the flight missions 
proposed in the last round, it is vitally important for the health 
of the Discovery Program, and the peer-initiated flight opportunities 
this program represents, that the Congressional inquiry and NASA's 
response to it run their course.
William B. McKinnon
DPS Chair
The last decade has seen a tremendous increase in the quality and 
quantity of data sets relevant to planetary geology and geophysics. 
Concurrently, there has been a substantial increase in interest 
in the planetary geosciences, as reflected at the 2005 Lunar and 
Planetary Science Conference, attended by more than 1400 participants.
It is appropriate for the community to reflect on important, 
cross-cutting issues for Planetary Geology and Geophysics through 
topical studies, workshops, field conferences, and other vehicles 
that stimulate the exchange of ideas and the fostering of collaborative 
efforts. Such activities can range from single events, such as a 
focused topical workshop, to multi-year projects, on the scale of 
the current Cosmochemistry project on oxygen in the solar system. 
The Lunar and Planetary Institute can provide logistical support 
for some of these activities each year.
This notice is to encourage the development of concepts for such 
activities. If you have a candidate concept, please send a 
one-page summary outlining the goals, background and relevance, 
anticipated participation, and expected outcome to 
Dr. Stephen Mackwell, Director of the Lunar and Planetary 
Institute (, with a copy to 
Dr. Steve Saunders, Discipline Scientist for Planetary Geology 
and Geophysics ( Although there is 
no formal date for submissions, concepts for the coming year (2006) 
will be fully considered if submitted by 1 June 2005.
Applications are due June 3, 2005, for NASA's 17th Annual Planetary 
Science Summer School, which will hold two sessions this summer, 
July 25-29 and August 1-5, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 
Pasadena, California.  Science and engineering post-doctoral and 
graduate students with a strong interest in careers in planetary 
exploration are encouraged to apply.  Preference is given to 
U.S. citizens.  The student teams will carry out the equivalent 
of an early concept study responsive to a selected NASA Announcement 
of Opportunity, prepare a proposal authorization review presentation, 
present it to a review board, and receive feedback.  At the end of 
the week, students will have a clearer understanding of the 
relationships among mission design, cost, and schedule, and the 
trade-offs necessary to stay within cost and schedule while 
preserving the opportunity to acquire high-quality science.  
They will also understand the lifecycle of a space mission.  
Partial financial support is available to a limited number of 
individuals to help defray the expense of travel and lodging only.  
Applications are to be submitted electronically by June 3, 2005 at
For further information, visit
or contact Ms. Anita M. Sohus, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 
M/S 311-100, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109; 
phone 818-354-6613; e-mail Anita.M.Sohus at
Visiting Assistant Professor or Instructor of Physics, Illinois 
Wesleyan University.  Contact Narendra Jaggi (309-556-3418) or 
Njaggi at, or see  
AAS Job Register #21784 (to appear June 1).
Send submissions (no attachments, please) to:
Linda French Emmons, DPS Secretary (lfrench at
Department of Physics
Illinois Wesleyan University
P. O. Box 2900
Bloomington, IL 61702