Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 14:06:45 -0500
Subject: DPS Mailing #05-21:  Messages from the Chair, DPS Meeting Update...
 
Greetings, DPS Colleagues,
 
 +------------------CONTENTS:------------------------------+
  1)  Message from the Chair I:  Your Action Is Needed
  2)  Message from the Chair II:  New DPS Survey
  3)  DPS 2005 Cambridge Update
  4)  Re:  "Jupiter:  Planet, Satellites, and Magnetosphere"
  5)  Call for Chapter Volunteers
  6)  Special Session at Fall AGU Meeting
 +----------------------------------------------------------+
 
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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR 1:  DISCOVERY PROGRAM UNDERMINED IN NASA 
BUDGET LANGUAGE FROM SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE - YOUR ACTION IS 
NEEDED
 
The Discovery Program is the workhorse of robotic exploration of the 
solar system, most recently celebrating a spectacular success 
with Deep Impact's encounter with Comet Tempel 1.  Discovery is 
a PI-led, cost-capped, competed program, which was designed to 
provide equal opportunities for space scientists to propose 
their own missions, competitively selected after extensive peer review.
 
Unfortunately the Discovery budget cap has not kept pace with 
inflation indexed to increasing aerospace industry and launch 
vehicle costs also included within the cap. The result is that 
the amount of funding available for the spacecraft and science 
has declined by about 30% in constant dollars since 1994, 
significantly reducing the range of viable missions and 
therefore the effectiveness of the program.
 
As a consequence of an arguably unrealistic funding profile and 
cost cap imposed by NASA for the 2004 (Discovery 11) 
opportunity, no proposals were selected.  This decision has been 
reviewed by a subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council, whose 
report has not yet been released. NASA has recognized the 
problems with Discovery 11 as well as the decline in effective 
funding, and has recently proposed for Discovery 12 that the 
mission cap be set at $450M and the funding profile be driven 
by mission needs and not set a priori. $450M in FY2005 dollars 
would bring the funding level of the program almost back to its 
1994 levels.
 
The Senate Appropriations Committee recently passed a NASA budget, 
which it has forwarded to the full Senate 
(S. Rept. 109-88, http://www.psi.edu/~sykes/FRS/discovery.html).  
Included is language urging NASA to select a Discovery 11 mission, 
which is having the effect of further delaying the Discovery 12 
announcement of opportunity. The language caps future Discovery 
proposals at $350M, which after taking out the increased costs 
of launch vehicles, reduces the available funding for missions 
in constant dollars to its lowest level ever.
 
The DPS is deeply concerned about the prospect of continued 
reductions in Discovery capability that would arise from the 
proposed Senate cost cap.  IT IS LIKELY THAT MOST OF THE EXISTING 
DISCOVERY PROPOSALS WOULD NOT BE VIABLE WITH SUCH A SMALL COST CAP.
 
We urge American DPS members to please communicate with your 
Senators immediately. Ask them to remove the damaging references 
to the Discovery program in the NASA budget report language in 
S. Rept. 109-88.  It is vitally important that NASA should not be 
held back from reforming the Discovery program and restoring its 
budget cap to an effective level.  We ask that members stress the 
positive, i.e. the importance of the Discovery program for planetary 
science and the significance of the science accomplished to date.
 
Sincerely,
William B. McKinnon
DPS Chair
 
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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR II:  NEW DPS SURVEY
 
Colleagues,
NASA continues to work through its greatest transition since the 
beginning of Apollo. The planetary community faces great challenges 
and great opportunities.  To effectively represent our community, 
we need to learn more about the makeup of our field in 2005. 
The DPS, through its Federal Relations Subcommittee, has updated, 
revised, and expanded its membership survey. In its last, and 
pre-electronic, incarnation in 1995/96, 82% of the DPS membership 
responded.  We are hoping to well outdo this earlier response, and 
really hit the 100% bell this time. The information you provide, 
and the statistics we can compile, will prove simply invaluable 
in our dealings with NASA, Congress, and other governmental agencies. 
The DPS Committee urges all members to set aside a few minutes 
from their busy lives and complete the on-line survey. It's 
just a click away.
 
The survey can be found at:
 
 http://tinyurl.com/7l9l8
 
Your login is your AAS membership number which you can get 
from the AAS (http://www.aas.org) in case you have misplaced it.  (If you 
search for yourself in the Public Directory, when your entry comes 
up your membership number will be at the end of the URL).   
You can participate in the survey even if you are not an active DPS 
member as long as the AAS still retains your membership number.  
But this would be a good time to bring your dues current and 
be an active member again.
 
Sincerely,
 
Bill McKinnon
DPS Chair
 
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DPS 2005 CAMBRIDGE UPDATE
 
DPS2005 in Cambridge is less than five weeks from opening. 
Any member planning to attend who has not yet registered 
or booked accommodation is urged to do so immediately.
 
As of today the Meeting has 600 registrants and 800 abstracts 
for oral presentations and posters.
 
Accommodation at St John's College has sold out. There are still 
rooms in Robinson College. Bed and breakfast businesses within 
the vicinity of the Meeting are now full. Hotels are quoting 
$1000 (3 star) to $2000 (4 star) for the five nights September 4-9, 
room only. At Robinson College a single room with private bath 
is $795 for the room, five breakfasts and three substantial dinners.
 
Reservations at Robinson College will close on August 19. It 
will not be possible to get accommodations on a walk up basis 
at the Meeting.
 
The formal banquet at St John's College is fully booked. An informal 
banquet of equivalent value is available at Robinson College. 
This banquet features a full dinner served buffet style, with 
dinner wine included in the price. The meal has a Caribbean theme, 
and it has proven a big success with other meetings at the 
College. In a first for a DPS Meeting, the Robinson informal 
banquet includes two hours of live music from a 19-piece jazz 
band that is much in demand for College Balls and parties.
 
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RE:  "Jupiter: Planet, Satellites & Magnetosphere"
 
1. The website will soon have the bibliographies of each chapter 
and combined (both .pdf and .bib).
2. The website has moved (due to firewalls) 
to http://lasp.colorado.edu/JUPITER/index.html
3. The book is on sale at Amazon.com for  $126.75 (16%off)
 
Fran Bagenal
Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics
UCB 392 University of Colorado
 
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CALL FOR CHAPTER VOLUNTEERS for a new book in the Space Science Series, 
on the topic of . . .
 
THE KUIPER BELT
 Edited by A. Barucci, H. Boehnhardt, D. Cruikshank, 
A. Morbidelli (publication at end 2007)
 
See:   http://www.lesia.obspm.fr/planeto/KuiperBook/index.html for 
more information, preliminary outline, and further information 
on how to respond to this "Call for Papers".
 
The deadline for response is 1 October 2005.
 
Richard P. Binzel, General Editor
Space Science Series
 
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SPECIAL SESSION AT FALL AGU MEETING:  H06: Planetary Geomorphology: 
The Role of Fluid, Ice, and Wind in Shaping the Surfaces of 
Planets and Satellites
 
San Francisco, 5-9 December 2005
 
Abstract submissions are due by 8 September 2005.  
Go to http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm05/?pageRequest=program_abstracts
 
If you wish more information or have further questions please 
contact Jeff Moore <jeff.moore at nasa.gov>
 
 
Send submissions (no attachments, please) to:
Linda French Emmons, DPS Secretary (lfrench at iwu.edu)
Department of Physics
Illinois Wesleyan University
P. O. Box 2900
Bloomington, IL 61702