Subject: DPS Mailing #07-02: NASA Budget, E/PO Course...

February 7th 2007

   1)  Talking to Congress about the NASA budget
   2)  Introduction to Space Science EPO: A new online course
   3)  Two upcoming workshops and meetings



NASA funding is in a delicate state, and as always, vigorous action by
the DPS community is needed. The past Congress failed to pass a budget
for 2007, and now the 2008 budget is up for discussion.

The DPS is a co-signer of a letter to key members of Congress prepared
by the Planetary Society in support of restored funding for planetary
sciences. Other signatories include representatives of AURA, Carnegie
Institute of Washington, Lowell Observatory, LPL, PSI, SwRI, SSI, and
USRA. A copy of the letter is posted at the web site:

While congressional leaders and staffers are well aware of our
concerns, nothing beats contacts between individual scientists and
their representatives. Individual DPS members are strongly encouraged
to get to know their members of Congress and, especially, their
science staffers. Write letters to them (a personal letter is far
better than an e-mail); even better, visit their offices either
locally or in Washington and ask for the staff person who handles
science and technology issues. Let them know the kinds of science
you're doing in their district that our tax dollars support, and what
is threatened by these cuts.

Advice for contacting Congress, and regular updates on the budget
situation, can be found at our web site,

Guy Consolmagno, Chair



Feb 26 to May 18, 2007

Over the last decade there has been an explosion of opportunities and
programs promoting education in association with space exploration and
science. Now there is an online course to introduce the ideas and
techniques of space science education and public outreach (EPO) to
scientists and educators everywhere. This new course is offered
entirely online and thus is conveniently available to teachers in
schools and universities, interested scientists, planetarium and
science center workers, NASA outreach staff, graduate students,
after-school educators, the media and anyone else who wants to use the
excitement of space to enhance learning by students and the public.
The course is team taught by leaders in the emerging field of space
science EPO - including the DPS's education officer, Jennifer
Grier. Dr Charles Wood from the NASA-Sponsored Classroom of the Future
at Wheeling Jesuit University is the coordinator. The faculty include
experienced scientists and educators at NASA, ASP, AAS, DPS, PSI, JPL
and NOAO.  For more information and to enroll visit



1) AOGS 4th Annual Meeting, Bangkok, 30 July to 4 August 2007

Session PS3: Progress in Cometary Science

Conveners: R. Schulz and T.M. Ho


Abstract deadline, February 15 2007

The session shall provide an overview of the recent progress in
cometary science particularly with regard to nucleus composition and
activity as well as the connection between comets and other small
solar system bodies. The recent opportunities to observe the induced
outburst of the nucleus of comet 9P/Tempel 1 and the repeated
splitting of comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 provided extraordinary
possibilities to investigate cometary activity under non-steady state
conditions. Additionally, the availability of very large telescopes
and special equipments led to a number of new findings in this
field. The new results need to be put in context to add clue to the
basic question of how comets formed and evolved.

2) Discovery at 15: Looking Backward, Looking Forward, September  
19-20 2007,
Huntsville, AL

Late in 1991, Congress directed NASA to prepare "a plan to stimulate
and develop small planetary or other space science projects,
emphasizing  those which could be accomplished by the academic or
research communities." NASA's response in April 1992 was the Discovery

This is the first announcement of "Discovery at 15: Looking Backward,
Looking Forward".  The conference will be held on September 19-20 in
Huntsville, AL -- the home of the Discovery Program Office.   All former
Principal Investigators, Project Managers, and Education/Public Outreach
Leads will be invited to participate in the conference.  The  
conference will
also be open to the scientific community and a session of contributed
posters on mission concepts and new technologies is planned.

Future announcements will include the URL of the conference website.

Dr. Michael New
Discovery Program Scientist


Send submissions to:
John Spencer, DPS Secretary (