Subject: [DPS Members] DPS Mailing #08-03: AAS statement on priorities, HST proposals...

Issue 08-03, March 3rd 2008

1) Priority Setting in the Planetary Science Community
2) Consider proposing for HST Time for Solar System Science
3) NASA Lunar Science Institute Open for Business
4) Upcoming Meetings



The DPS Committee voted unanimously in favor of the resolution below,
demonstrating unanimous agreement among the AAS and each of its five
Divisions, supporting community-based priority setting for federal
funding of research.  Through this resolution, the Division for
Planetary Sciences and all other Divisions of the American
Astronomical Society, re-affirm the Decadal Survey process as the
premier means for setting priorities.

Richard P. Binzel, DPS Chair

AAS Statement On Community-based Priority Setting
(Adopted 24 January 2008)

The American Astronomical Society and each of its five divisions
strongly endorse community-based priority setting as a fundamental
component in the effective federal funding of research. Broad
community input is required in making difficult decisions that will be
respected by policy makers and stake-holders.  The decadal surveys are
the premier examples of how to set priorities with community
input. Other National Academy studies, standing advisory committees,
senior reviews, and town hall meetings are important components.
Mid-decade adjustments should also be open to appropriate community
input. Pleadings outside this process for specific Congressional
language to benefit projects or alter priorities are counterproductive
and harm science as a whole.  The American Astronomical Society
opposes all attempts to circumvent the established and successful
community-based priority-setting processes currently in place.




The deadline (7 March) for HST proposals for cycle 17 is fast
approaching.  This message is to strongly encourage all planetary
observers to consider submitting proposals, for the following reasons:

* The installation of the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Cosmic
  Origins Spectrograph (COS), and the anticipated repair of STIS and
  ACS, in the upcoming servicing mission, provides many new and revived
  opportunities for solar system science with HST.

* The fraction of HST time devoted to planetary science (3-7 % in last 3
  cycles) has decreased steadily since the early years of HST.  This is
  due to a decreasing number of proposals, since the fraction of time
  for solar system is determined by the total time requested.  The more
  proposals we submit, the more time will be allocated to solar system.
  (i.e. civic duty).

* Money comes with these programs, typically around $30-80 K for a
  small program.  (i.e. self interest)

* NASA's Solar System division is paying for part of the HST repair
  mission (i.e. entitlement)

Go to to see the numbers from past
cycles and more reasons why it is to your benefit to propose.

John Clarke, Boston University



NASA's new Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) is officially open for business.
Supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and the Exploration
Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), NLSI is managed by NASA Ames Research
Center and is modeled on the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Competitively
selected team investigations will focus on one or more aspects of lunar
science -- investigations of the Moon (including lunar samples), from the
Moon, and/or on the Moon. Check out our website at

David Morrison
NLSI Interim Director



1) Saturn After Cassini-Huygens, London, July 28 - August 1, 2008


The Saturn Book Symposium entitled "Saturn After Cassini-Huygens" will
be held at Imperial College London, UK, 28 July - 1 August 2008.  The
meeting is sponsored by the Cassini-Huygens Project and includes
support from ESA, NASA, Imperial College, STFC.  The primary purpose
of the meeting is to exchange ideas that will culminate in the
publication of a Springer-Verlag book on the Saturn system.  The
meeting is open to interested members of the planetary science

The abstract submission deadline is May 30, and early registration has
begun with a deadline of June 27.  If you have questions, please
contact Michele Dougherty (Organizer) at or
Yvonne Tatchley (Administrator) at

Send submissions to:
John Spencer, DPS Secretary (

John Spencer
Southwest Research Institute			303 546 9674 (V)
1050 Walnut St. Suite 300			303 546 9687 (F)
Boulder CO 80302