Newsletter 13-9

Issue 13-9, March 29, 2013



Dear DPS Members,

The last week has been eventful. We received very good news about the planetary budget, but bad news about NASA restrictions on travel and cuts to E/PO programs.

NASA Budget:

First the good news for the planetary program: President Obama signed Appropriations Bill HR933 that was passed last week by Congress. The bill restores $223M of the proposed $309M funding cut from the planetary program in the President’s FY13 budget request and clearly signals the high priority Congress places on the program. The language in the bill (now law) is specific about increases for Europa (75 M) and for Plutonium production (14.5M).

We should thank the members of Congress in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle for their visionary and continued strong support for planetary exploration in the United States. The language in the bill and accompanying report clearly reflects Congress’s belief that NASA should pursue a strong, well-balanced program as outlined in the NRC Decadal Survey Vision and Voyages: that NASA conduct a balanced program comprised of the five major elements identified in the NRC report, namely small, medium and large missions, research and analysis, and development of enabling technologies.

While the passage of HR933 is a positive development, we note that the President’s last budget request continued to cut NASA’s planetary program for at least the next two years before leveling off at a greatly reduced level compared with FY12. Moreover, there is still the matter of the sequestration cuts that NASA and other agencies must deal with this fiscal year, and perhaps in the future. With respect to the FY13 distribution of NASA’s sequestration cuts, we are concerned about the omission of the planetary program in the many public statements made by NASA Administrator Bolden regarding the top priorities of the Administration.

NASA travel restrictions

The bad news is the restrictions that NASA is imposing on its employees and contractors such as JPL, in response to sequestration. The restrictions severely affect DPS and other AAS Divisions, so AAS has put out a statement on the impact (see below). NASA has effectively capped domestic conference attendance at 50 employees and contractors, and has prohibited all foreign conference travel. The impact on EGU, where MSL results were a highlight, is significant. We think that this sends a very negative message about international collaboration and, unless a waiver to the 50 employee rule is executed, it will have a very negative impact on the attendance at our annual DPS meeting in Denver this October.

NASA cuts to E/PO

We are still gathering information on this latest measure, but a statement was released by NASA’s office of Education, which can be viewed here:…

Rosaly Lopes, DPS Chair
Heidi Hammel, DPS Vice-Chair

AAS Statement on the Impact of Federal Agency Travel Restrictions on Scientific Conferences

The American Astronomical Society and its six divisions (Planetary Science, High Energy Astrophysics, Solar Physics, Dynamical Astronomy, Historical Astronomy, and Laboratory Astrophysics) are deeply concerned about the impact of the Administration’s new conference travel restrictions on the scientific productivity and careers of researchers who are Federal employees and contractors.

Scientific meetings and conferences are a principal mechanism for researchers, students, and educators to facilitate and strengthen their interaction and collaborations with peers in their field, thereby advancing the state of knowledge in that field. Scientists who are Federal employees or contractors play a critical role in all fields of science and engineering, so the Federal agency mission suffers when they, and any students collaborating with them, are unable to travel to relevant conferences.

In response to guidance from the White House Office of Management and Budget on implementation of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 sequestration, many agencies have issued new travel restrictions for employees, contractors, and grantees for the rest of FY 2013. For example, NASA has effectively capped conference attendance at 50 employees and contractors and prohibited all attendance at foreign conferences.
Given the mission need for NASA personnel to regularly meet with international collaborators, we believe our international leadership in space will be undermined by this prohibition.

While conferences occurring in the remaining six months of FY 2013 will be severely impacted by these new directives, our deeper concern is the likelihood that the restrictions and reduced conference travel spending will become standard policy going forward. We agree that all government travel expenditures should be subject to vigorous review and oversight, but we urge the Administration to consider carefully the harm that these top-down restrictions could cause the U.S. research enterprise and our international standing.


Denver, Colorado, 6-11 October 2013
at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel

The DPS2013 website is up and running!

Remember these important dates and send your abstracts and registration forms in on time.
– 18 July 2013 :
45th DPS Regular Abstract Submission Deadline – 9:00pm ET
– 23 July 2013 :
45th DPS Early Registration Deadline
– 2 September 2013 :
45th DPS Workshop Proposals Due
– 3 September 2013 :
45th DPS Hotel Reservations Deadline
– 3 September 2013 :
45th DPS Late Abstract Submission Deadline – 9:00pm ET


Every year the DPS recognizes exceptional achievement in our field. It is time to consider nominating a respected colleague for one of the annual DPS prizes.

· The Gerard P. Kuiper Prize honors outstanding contributions to the field of planetary science.
· The Harold C. Urey Prize recognizes outstanding achievement in planetary research by a young scientist.
· The Harold Masursky Award acknowledges outstanding service to planetary science and exploration.
· The Carl Sagan Medal recognizes and honors outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist to the general public.

For all the above prizes the deadline is April 26, 2013. Detailed descriptions of each of the prizes and the criteria for nominees for each can be found at prizes. The nomination form and instructions can also be retrieved from this website.
The completed nomination form and supporting material should be emailed to [email protected].

· The Jonathan Eberhart Planetary Sciences Journalism Award recognizes and stimulates distinguished popular writing on planetary sciences. Deadline for nominations for 2013 is April 15, 2013. See : prizes/eberhart .
All material must be sent to: Vishnu Reddy, DPS Press Officer at [email protected]

Anyone may submit a nomination. A completed nomination will be retained and considered by the Prize Subcommittee for three years, or as long as the nominee is eligible, whichever is less. Past nominees may be re-nominated after the expiration of a prior nomination. A posthumous nomination is allowed for a limited time after the nominee’s death, except for the Sagan Medal. For specific details, see the URLs noted above.



AGU has a diverse Union Honors program, which recognizes members and other individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Earth and space sciences through advancement and discovery, service to the community, and public outreach and education.

Please take this opportunity to nominate a colleague for one of the following:

• Union Awards
• Union Prize
• Union Fellows
• Union Medals

Learn more about AGU’s 2013 Union awards, medals, and prize.
Questions related to Union awards, medals, and prize nominations may be sent to Leah Bland.

Learn more about AGU’s 2013 Union Fellows nomination criteria.
Questions related to Union Fellows nominations may be sent to Danica Williams.

All nomination packages are due by deadline of 31 March 2013. Please note that only COMPLETE packages will be considered. The deadline time to submit nominations is 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time). See the World Clock to calculuate your time difference.




Posted at

A) IPEWG 2013: Second announcement (program and opening of on-line registration).
May 29-31, 2013, in Nice, France

Dear Colleagues:

The on-line registration to the third Meeting of the International Primitive Body Exploration Working Group (IPEWG 2013) on May 29-31, 2013, in Nice, France, is now open. Information regarding how to register, the program (based on solicited speakers only), the meeting goals, the logistics are indicated on the following web site (click on the Registration Menu for explanations on how to register):

Discussions held at IPEWG 2013 are expected to impact and improve international collaboration activities for primitive body space exploration. We hope you will be interested in participating to this workshop and to the discussions that will encourage efficient international coordinations and efforts to improve our knowledge of these fascinating primitive bodies.

The deadline for registration is May 10th, 2013 and we encourage interested persons to register (and book their Hotel; see the web site for information) as soon as possible as the workshop is limited to a maximum of 100 participants. Please contact Patrick Michel, LOC Chair ([email protected]) with any questions.

We look forward to welcoming you on the “Nice” Côte d’Azur!


Patrick Michel
[email protected]

17 – 21 June, 2013,
San Jose State University, San Jose, California
Short Course: Entry, Descent, and Landing Systems 15 – 16 June 2013


Join us for the 10 International Planetary Probe
Workshop (IPPW-10), hosted by San Jose State University, June 17 – 21, 2013. The 10th Probe Workshop brings together engineers, technologists, scientists, mission designers, space agency leaders, and students from around the world for a week-long collaboration focused on exploration of Solar System atmospheres and surfaces using atmospheric entry and descent probes and aerial vehicles. Preceding the workshop, a 2-day short course on Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Systems is offered on June 15-16.

Dear Planetary Scientist:

The International Symposium on Planetary Sciences (IAPS2013) will be held at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, July 1-4, 2013, Shanghai, China ( as well as the International Summer School on Planetary Geodesy and Remote Sensing on July 5-7, 2013,, which will train next-generation young scientists and graduates in planetary science.

We would invite you to attend the IAPS2013. Waiting for your confirmation and looking forward to seeing you in Shanghai, July 2013.

The deadline of abstract submission and registration is May 15 (see

Best Regards
Shuanggen JIN

July 9-11, 2013,
Toulouse, France

Abstract submission deadline: March 31, 2013
On-line registration deadline: April 15, 2013

A workshop on the role of comets in understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System will be held in Toulouse, France 9-11 July, 2013. The workshop will cover topics ranging from the dynamical and chemical evolution of the solar nebula during formation, to the techniques for measuring the composition of comets. We will discuss the role that Rosetta measurements will play in understanding the origin of Solar System bodies, and what future missions to comets are being planned. Abstract submissions for posters and for talks are encouraged, though the number of talks available is limited in order to keep the meeting to three days. There will be a special issue of Planetary and Space Science devoted to the works presented at this meeting.

Meeting Dates: July 22-26
Abstract Deadline: April 15
Early Bird Registration Deadline: May 31

The meeting is being held at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, USA.

Both registration and abstract submission are now open for the Pluto-2013 conference at:

Abstracts are solicited on all facets of the Pluto system—including origins, interiors, surfaces, compositions, atmospheres, satellites, plasma, and context in the Kuiper Belt.
Special issues of both Icarus and JGR-Planets are planned to publish new results and prediction papers in 2014.

Alan Stern (Program Committee Chair)
Hal Weaver (Local Organizing Committee Chair)

F) EPSC2013 – Call-for-Papers

European Planetary Science Congress 2013
University College London
08 – 13 September 2013, London, United Kingdom

Abstract deadline: 06 May 2013.

Dear colleagues,

We invite the world-wide community of planetary scientists to submit an abstract for presentation of their recent work at the EPSC 2013 Meeting, which will
take place at the University College London, United Kingdom, 08-13 September 2013.
London is of course one of the great cities of the world, and the meeting is well placed in the city centre.
The meeting will consist of oral and poster sessions, as well as workshop-style sessions. We expect a very well attended meeting, with many high quality presentations.
The current list of over 80 sessions is organized around the following topics:

TP Terrestrial Planets
GP Giant Planet Systems
MG Magnetospheres and Space Physics
MTI Missions, Techniques and Industry
EX Exoplanets and Origins
AB Astrobiology
SB Small Bodies
PD Planetary Dynamics
LF Laboratory and Field Investigations
OEP Outreach, Education, and Policy
AM Amateur Astronomy
CP Comparative Planetology

The scientific program and abstract submission are accessible at:

Please browse the list of sessions and identify the session that most closely matches your area of interest; your abstract can then be submitted directly to that session.
The session conveners, together with the Scientific Organizing Committee, will finalize the science program shortly after the abstract deadline.

Information on registration, accommodation, travel routes, visa requirements and social events will become available soon on the meeting web site.

Please forward this message to colleagues who may be interested.
We look forward to seeing you in London.

With best wishes,
Manuel Grande and Ralf Srama
on behalf of the Scientific Organizing Committee
Mario Ebel
on behalf of Copernicus Meetings