Date: Sat, 1 Oct 2005 11:43:42 -0500
Subject: DPS Mailing #05-28:  Message from the Chair:  Discovery
 Missions....
 
Greetings, DPS Colleagues,
 
 +------------------CONTENTS------------------------------+
  1)  Message from the Chair:  Discovery Missions--Your Help is Needed
  2)  Last Survey Reminder
  3)  Kuiper Belt Book Chapter Deadline Extended
  4)  Meeting Announcement
 +----------------------------------------------------------+
 
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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR:  DISCOVERY MISSIONS--YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
 
Dear Colleagues:
 
Recently, the Senate passed the NASA budget bill with report language
(copied below) that would cap Discovery mission costs at $350M. 
With ever increasing launch vehicle costs and growing required 
margins by NASA,  this would squeeze funds for spacecraft and 
science to a level lower than what was available in 1994 in 
constant dollars. NASA was planning to raise the cap to $450M 
from $360M, beginning with Discovery 12, to return the program 
to its fiscal health of a more than a decade ago. A $350M cost 
cap in the NASA budget bill greatly restricts the range of 
high quality scientific missions for which the Discovery 
program was initiated.
 
The Discovery program has had some spectacular successes, 
most recently the Deep Impact encounter with comet Tempel 1. 
These are PI-led  missions, grounded in fair and open 
competition, that have been a source of programmatic 
diversity and cost control. Unlike past mission programs 
that did suffer from exploding costs, Discovery missions 
are cost-capped at the outset.
 
The DPS Committee strongly supports an adequately funded, 
competitively-selected Discovery process as an important component 
of NASA's space science program. We call on our members to 
contact their Senators and Representatives and request that the 
$350M cost cap be excluded from the final report for the 2006 
NASA budget.
 
It is important that you do this IMMEDIATELY, because the bill 
containing the NASA budget, having passed both houses of 
Congress, goes to conference to resolve differences. The final 
budget language may be fixed at any time, so please do not delay.
 
Richard G. French, Chair
DPS Committee
 
Senate Report 109-088 - DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE AND JUSTICE, 
SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2006
 
The Committee supports the independent review of the Discovery 11 
selection process and expects a favorable decision in order to 
proceed with a Discovery 11 new start. The Committee is 
concerned about potentially escalating costs associated with 
future Discovery missions. Therefore, for all future 
Discovery missions following Discovery 11, the Committee 
caps the Discovery program at not more than $350,000,000 per 
mission. Further, the Committee expects NASA to proceed 
as well with the Discovery 12 announcement of opportunity 
as quickly as the Discovery 11 selection is resolved. 
This is to ensure that proceeding with Discovery 11 
does not jeopardize Discovery 12's funding.
 
 
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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR AND COMMITTEE:
 
LAST REMINDER: NOW IS THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NEW DPS SURVEY
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
To date, over 300 DPS members have participated in the second 
DPS Survey.  However, the Division has over 1300 members, and 
we would like the results to be representative of our entire community.
 
The survey is quite painless, takes no more than half an hour and 
will provide valuable data on our field and our colleagues.  
The cutoff date for participating is October 15, 2005, but why 
wait till the last minute? Please do it now!
 
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, 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 become an active 
member once again.
 
Thanks for your help!
 
Richard G. French, DPS Chair, and the DPS Committee
 
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KUIPER BELT BOOK CHAPTER DEADLINE EXTENDED
 
Following the request of many collegues the deadline for 
submitting chapter proposals for the Kuiper Belt book is 
postponed to October 7, 2005.
 
A. Barucci, H. Boehnhardt, D. Cruikshank, A. Morbidelli (Editors)
 
See: http://www.lesia.obspm.fr/planeto/KuiperBook/index.html
 
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AGU CHAPMAN CONFERENCE:  "EXPLORING VENUS AS A TERRESTRIAL PLANET"
13-17 February 2006
Sheraton Beach Resort in Key Largo, FL
 
The conference will review the current knowledge of Venus 
including surface and interior processes, atmospheric circulation, 
chemistry, and aeronomy; and compare the evolution of Venus with 
that of Earth and Mars. Abstract and travel support deadlines are 
15 November, 2005.  For more information:
http://www.agu.org/meetings/cc06bcall.html
 
 
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