Issue 14-5, March 16, 2014
1) MESSAGE FROM THE FEDERAL RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE (FRS) CHAIR
2) REMINDER : 2014 ONLINE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS
3) BUDGET 2015: PLANETARY COMMUNITY TOWN HALL AT LPSC #45
4) IAU : CONCERNS AND CONSIDERATIONS WITH THE NAMING OF MARS CRATERS
5) CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR THE NASA INFRARED TELESCOPE FACILITY (IRTF)
6) CHANGE IN HST SNAP POLICY FOR OBJECTS INTERIOR TO JUPITER
7) NASA EXPLORATION SCIENCE FORUM - 2ND ANNOUNCEMENT
8) JOBS/POSITIONS OPPORTUNITIES
9) UPCOMING MEETINGS
MESSAGE FROM THE FEDERAL RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE (FRS) CHAIR
The White House has released the FY 2015 Presidential Budget Request (PBR), which gives adequate support to the Discovery Program and NASA's research programs, but missing is support for a new start for New Frontiers and an outer planets Flagship mission, two essential components of the Decadal Survey. A summary of the FY 2015 PBR is included below.
Visit lawmakers in Washington, DC
Now that the President’s budget request has been released and we look toward the appropriations season, the FRS is planning visits with stakeholders and lawmakers in Washington, DC (tentatively April 24-25 and May 12-13). This is a fun way to learn more about how DC works and promote planetary science. No prior experience communicating with Congress is necessary! If interested, please contact Makenzie Lystrup, FRS Chair, at email@example.com.
FRS looking for new members
We are looking to add to energetic planetary scientists looking to help advocate for the broad swath of planetary science that the DPS represents. The ability to communicate science to non-scientists is a must, and the ability to create graphics for materials aimed at non-scientists is a plus. Prior service on NASA Advisory Committee Subcommittees, Assessment Groups, or other similar policy-related committees is also a plus. Please contact Makenzie Lystrup, FRS Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary of the FY 2015 President’s Budget Request (PBR)
The full 713-page NASA request can be found at http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/NASA_2015_Budget_Estimates.pdf
The budget includes the request for FY 2015 and notional out year budgets for FY 2016-2019. These notional budgets are for planning guidance purposes; Congress only appropriates one fiscal year at a time. And remember that the PBR is only one part of the process. Congress authorizes and appropriates money, and they will certainly have a lot to say about the NASA budget.
The NASA top line ($17.4606 billion), the Science top line ($4.972 billion), and the Planetary Science top line ($1.2803 billion) are all at relatively small decreases from the enacted FY 2014 levels.
Planetary R&A: $256 million – At first glance this appears to be an increase from FY 2014, but that’s because there has been a transfer some basic research programs into this line to be consistent with the restructured R&A program. Considering the transfers, it appears that the total is perhaps a small increase in R&A funds from FY 2014.
Discovery: $231 million – The FY 2015 and notional out-year budget request includes adequate funding for all missions currently in development and operation, and to select and implement the next round of Discovery.
New Frontiers: $281 million – The FY 2015 request appears to be adequate for funding Juno, New Horizons, and ORIRIS-Rex. The out year notional budgets do not appear to provide funding for the next round of New Frontiers, which is of great concern.
Outer Planets: $96 million – Cassini is fully funded through end of Solstice Mission, and NASA support to JUICE is fully funded. $15 million is requested for the study of a Europa mission, which should not be considered a new start; there is no money for Europa in the notional out years budgets. A Request for Information (RFI) will be released in the near future to solicit ideas for a Europa mission concept that would address the preponderance of the decadal science for at most $1 billion. This is naturally a controversial idea in many quarters, and we will see how it plays out as the community and Congress respond.
Mars Exploration: $279 million – Apart from the proposed shutdown of MER Opportunity, funding for the balance of the Mars program appears adequate.
Technology: $137 million – Funding to re-start Pu-238 production at DOE is included.
In the budget, the Administration outlines the Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative (OGSI), which proposes spending across the federal government that is $56 billion above the spending cap that Congress recently agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, to be fully paid for by closing tax loopholes. NASA would receive $885.5 million of this initiative, which includes a number of impacts to Planetary Science. It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which Congress could come to an agreement to pass an additional $56 million of spending, but Congress could also use the initiative as guidance in a piecemeal fashion.
The FRS advocates for Planetary Science throughout the year, but we will be ramping up activities in the coming months. We look forward to the participation of the DPS membership when we issue calls to action.
REMINDER : 2014 ONLINE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS
You are receiving this e-mail because you have subscribed to DPS during the past 2 years.
You should have paid your 2014 membership dues online at https://members.aas.org/ by 31 December 2013. But our records show that more than 300 of our members forgot to renew !
If you are one of those who haven’t had the time yet to renew, please take it now by logging in to your membership record (today !) and paying your dues so that you can remain part of the DPS community. By renewing online and not receiving a paper renewal, you will help your Society save enormous costs.
Also, please take a moment to update your personal DPS member file.
Thank you for your urgent attention.
Athena Coustenis, DPS Secretary
Send general replies to email@example.com.
BUDGET 2015: PLANETARY COMMUNITY TOWN HALL AT LPSC #45
Wednesday, March 19, 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., Waterway 4
With the release of the 2015 budget this month, attendees will have an opportunity to hear from the Societies that serve the Planetary Science community, discuss the impact of the proposed budget on the future of planetary science, and review options for mitigating the cuts to our valued programs.
IAU : CONCERNS AND CONSIDERATIONS WITH THE NAMING OF MARS CRATERS
The AAS and DPS note the following statement issued by the International Astronomical Union regarding naming space objects and their features:
Recently initiatives that capitalize on the public's interest in space and
astronomy have proliferated, some putting a price tag on naming space
objects and their features, such as Mars craters. The International
Astronomical Union (IAU) would like to emphasize that such initiatives go
against the spirit of free and equal access to space, as well as against
internationally recognized regulations. Hence no purchased names can ever
be used on official maps and globes. The IAU encourages the public to
become involved in the naming process of space objects and their features
by following the officially recognized (and free) methods.
For full text and image see :
For more information on the IAU policy of naming solar system objects,
especially Mars craters, see the WGPSN web page:
IAU Theme on Naming of Astronomical Objects:
CALL FOR PROPOSALS FOR THE NASA INFRARED TELESCOPE FACILITY (IRTF)
DEADLINE: 01 April 2014
***Use the ONLINE application form ***
NASA Infrared Telescope Facility Observing Proposals, Due date for the 2014B semester (August 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015) is Tuesday, April 1, 2014. See our online submission form. Available instruments include: (1) SpeX, a 0.8 – 5.3 micron cross-dispersed medium-resolution spectrograph (up to R=2,500) and imager; (2) MORIS, a 512x512 pixel Andor CCD camera mounted at the side-facing, dichroic-fed window of the SpeX cryostat (60"x60" field-of-view); MORIS can be used simultaneously with SpeX; (3) CSHELL, a 1-5 micron high-resolution spectrograph (up to R=40,000) (4) PI-instruments including a low-resolution 3-14 micron spectrograph and high-resolution spectrographs for 8-25 microns. Information on available instruments and performance can be found at: http://irtfweb.ifa.hawaii.edu/Facility/.
Important notice: We anticipate that SpeX will be returned to the telescope in June 2014 in time to accommodate proposals for the Fall 2014 semester beginning on August 1, 2014. Currently SpeX is in the Hilo laboratory undergoing upgrades to its array and array controllers. We expect improved performance, but for proposals please use current performance and sensitivity.
Pleased be advised that NSFCAM2 is not available as it is undergoing evaluation for repair after damage resulting from overpressure in its liquid nitrogen can.
Visitor instruments (available on a collaborative basis with the instrument team) include: TEXES (5-20 micron high-resolution spectrograph; contact Matt Richter firstname.lastname@example.org for more information), BASS (3-14 micron spectrometer; contact Ray Russell at Ray.W.Russell@aero.org), CELESTE (5-25 micron echelle spectrometer; contact Don Jennings at Donald.E.Jennings@nasa.gov) and HIPWAC (9-12 micron heterodyne spectrometer; contact Ted Kostiuk at email@example.com).
Remote observing is available with SpeX, CSHELL, and MORIS.
Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring will make a very close approach to Mars in 2014B and observations of this comet are of interest to NASA. Further information can be found here:
Important Notice: Remote observing requests must be made in the proposal application – later requests will be considered if requested at least ONE MONTH ahead of time. If you wish to observe from your home institution, you MUST comply with the requirements for video conferencing and instrument operation provided on the Remote Observers Information page. First-time users should plan to work in Manoa, Hilo or at the summit for their first run with their support astronomer and become familiar with the instrument operation. Observers already familiar with the instrument and who want to observe remotely from their home institution are strongly encouraged to contact Miranda Hawarden-Ogata (firstname.lastname@example.org) to set up a test of the video link and user interface at least one month prior to their observing run. We cannot guarantee a successful remote observing connection on short notice since we have no control of hardware and software compatibility on the user’s side. It is the responsibility of the PI to provide up to date observing contact information.
To keep our bibliography up to date, and to ensure future funding of the IRTF instruments, we ask that you send us citations to your latest IRTF publications. You can check your publications using our website bibliography page for refereed papers:
Please send to William Walters (email@example.com) any missing references, and please continue to include in your paper the acknowledgement to the IRTF and the name of the instrument used.
CHANGE IN HST SNAP POLICY FOR OBJECTS INTERIOR TO JUPITER
STScI has revised the policy regarding SNAP observations of Solar System bodies that lie interior to the orbit of Jupiter. Previously such observations were not allowed since scheduling guide-stars requires a significant allocation of resources. The policy has been changed to allow observations of a subset of these targets provided that the observations are undertaken under gyro control. Full details are given here:
This change in policy is in effect for Cycle 22 (proposal deadline April 11 2014)
NASA EXPLORATION SCIENCE FORUM - 2ND ANNOUNCEMENT
NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute
The Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) is pleased to announce the first annual NASA Exploration Science Forum (ESF), to be held 21-23 July 2014 at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. There will be no registration fees to attend the forum, and it is an excellent opportunity for students to meet a broad science and exploration community.
Registration for the forum and abstract submissions can now be found on the SSERVI website.
The deadline for abstract submission is midnight PDT 26 April 2014.
Abstracts are being solicited for the following topics relevant to human exploration targets of interest (the Moon, near-Earth asteroids, Phobos/Deimos): dust/regolith, exosphere/plasma Interactions, geology, geophysics, human exploration, missions (including science enabled by robotic, human, and commercial missions), radiation, robotics, sample return (including robotic-assisted through telepresence), volatiles, ISRU, astro/heliophysics (including space weathering), and public outreach.
Many of the ESF topics are of relevance to NASA's Global Exploration Roadmap. To further discussion with the science community, NASA will conduct a separate session on the Global Exploration Roadmap on 24 July immediately following the Exploration Science Forum.
The next announcement (April 2014) will discuss Exploration Science Forum logistics (hotel accommodations, parking, and no-host meals). Registration for the forum is FREE and will remain open until 6 July, so please register early. International visitors must register by 26 May 2014 in order to process your NASA visitor information.
You can send any comments, questions, or suggestions to the DPS Jobs Czar at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A) TENURE-TRACK POSITION IN PLANETARY GEOSCIENCE
The Department of Earth Sciences and the Centre for Planetary Science
and Exploration at The University of Western Ontario invite
applications for a probationary tenure-track faculty position in the
area of Planetary Geoscience. The appointment will be made at the
rank of Assistant or Associate Professor.
This position builds upon the recent appointments of an NSERC/MDA/CSA
Industrial Research Chair in Planetary Geology, a Tier 1 Canada
Research Chair in Planetary Science and two Research Chairs, one in
Planetary Materials and one in Exoplanet Research.
The applicant will have a strong record in Planetary Geoscience
research, with preference given to applicants whose research focuses
on comparative planetology and/or planetary surface processes.
Research methodologies may include remote sensing and spectroscopy
for Earth and other planetary observations, geochemistry, hydrology,
geomicrobiology, metallogeny, and related fields. Involvement in
current or future planned planetary exploration missions and/or
Earth observation remote sensing is considered an asset to this
More details on the position can be found at:
A) AAS/DDA ANNUAL MEETING
The American Astronomical Society's Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA) is pleased to announce that its annual meeting will take place at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, PA, from April 28th to May 1st 2014. Registration and abstract submission are now open, and can be accessed through the meeting websitehttp://dda.aas.org/meetings/2014/.
The deadline for early online registration and abstract submission is March 21st.
We would also like to encourage graduate students working in all branches of dynamical astronomy to apply for the Ray Duncombe Prize, which includes free registration and $600 in travel funds. The deadline for Duncombe Prize applications is February 28th. For more details, see http://dda.aas.org/students/letters/ddastip14.html.
B) SECOND ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AAS LABORATORY ASTROPHYSICS DIVISION: LAD 2014
The second LAD meeting devoted to the interplay between laboratory astrophysics and astronomy, planetary science and related sciences will be held jointly with the 224th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, June 1-5, 2014, Boston, MA.
Late abstracts will be accepted until 9:00 pm ET, Thursday, 17 April 2014.
Detailed Abstract Information and Presentation Instructions can be found at http://aas.org/meetings/aas224/abstracts_full
Details about the program and invited speakers can be found at http://aas.org/aas-224th-meeting/224th-meeting-laboratory-astrophysics-division-sessions
In addition to its Annual Meeting, LAD, is also holding a one-day Meeting jointly with the AAS SPD Division and the APS GPAP Topical Group in Plasma Astrophysics that will focus on the interplay between laboratory astrophysics, plasma physics and solar physics.
Posters – Parallel 4-day long session
Farid Salama (NASA-Ames Research Center), Chair
John Black (Chalmers University of Technology)
Nancy Chanover (New Mexico State University)
Paul Drake (University of Michigan)
Chikang Li (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Daniel Wolf Savin (Columbia University)
Gianfranco Vidali (Syracuse University)
Steven Federman (University of Toledo), ex-officio
C) ASTEROIDS, COMETS, METEORS 2014 (ACM'2014)
June 30 - July 4, 2014
Abstracts and registration are due by : March 31, 2014
Asteroids, Comets, Meteors focuses on the research of small Solar
System bodies. Small bodies are the key to understanding the formation
and evolution of the Solar System, carrying signals from pre-solar
times. Understanding the evolution of the Solar System helps unveil
the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems. Societally, small
bodies will be important future resources of minerals. The near-Earth
population of small bodies continues to pose an impact hazard, whether
it be small pieces of falling meteorites or larger asteroids or
cometary nuclei capable of causing global environmental effects.
The conference series entitled "Asteroids, Comets, Meteors"
constitutes the leading international series in the field of small
Solar System bodies. The first three conferences took place in
Uppsala, Sweden in 1983, 1985, and 1989. The conference is now
returning to Nordic countries after a quarter of a century. After the
Uppsala conferences, the conference has taken place in Flagstaff,
Arizona, U.S.A. in 1991, Belgirate, Italy in 1993, Paris, France in
1996, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. in 1999, in Berlin, Germany in 2002, in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in
2008, and in Niigata, Japan in 2012. ACM in Helsinki, Finland in 2014
will be the 12th conference in the series.
Chair, ACM'2014 Scientific Organizing Committee,
Department of Physics, University of Helsinki &
Finnish Geodetic Institute
D) 6TH ALFVÉN CONFERENCE: PLASMA INTERACTIONS WITH SOLAR SYSTEM OBJECTS: ANTICIPATING ROSETTA, MAVEN AND MARS ORBITER MISSION
Location: University College London (UCL), UK
Conference dates: 7-11 July 2014
Conference website: http://bit.ly/alfven-2014
Second announcement and call for notification of interest
If you plan to attend this meeting, please fill out the notification of interest form: http://bit.ly/alfven-interest
The LOC would appreciate your response as soon as possible.
We are likely to offer a subsidised registration fee for students and a reduced early bird registration by 7 May. Regular and on site registration will be available after 7 May. Abstract deadline will be 7 May (submission details to follow)
Main topics: Comets, Mars, Venus, outer planet moons and Earth's moon -
especially common processes with comets, and reviewing current knowledge
prior to the arrival of the new missions.
Meeting theme -
Within our solar system, the planets, moons, comets and asteroids all have plasma interactions. The interaction depends on the nature of the object, particularly the presence of an atmosphere and a magnetic field.
Even the size of the object matters through the finite gyroradius effect and the scale height of cold ions of exospheric origin. It also depends on the upstream conditions, including position within the solar wind or the presence within a planetary magnetosphere. In the year when ESA's Rosetta will reach comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, NASA's Maven and ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission will reach Mars, and ESA's Venus Express mission is almost complete, this conference will explore our understanding of plasma interactions with comets, Mars, Venus, and inner and outer solar system moons. We will explore the processes which characterise the interactions such as ion pickup and field draping, and their effects such as plasma escape. Data from current and recent space missions, modelling and theory are all encouraged, as we explore our local part of the 'plasma universe'.
Confirmed invited speakers so far include: Rickard Lundin, Christian Mazelle, Matt Taylor, David Andrews, Esa Kallio, Oleg Vaisberg, Xianzhe Jia, Jim Slavin, Yoshifumi Saito, Geraint Jones, Stas Barabash, Olivier Witasse, Chris Paranicas, Wing Ip, Martin Rubin and Tom Cravens.
Andrew Coates (convener) and Anne Wellbrock (LOC co-chair),
on behalf of the LOC and SOC
E) EUROPEAN PLANETARY SCIENCE CONGRESS 2014 – EPSC2014
07 – 12 September 2014
Abstract deadline: 06 May 2014.
The international community of planetary scientists is invited to submit an abstract for presentation of their recent work at the EPSC 2014 Meeting, which will take place at the Centro de Congressos do Estoril, Cascais, Portugal, 07-12 September 2014.
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 sessions is organized around the following topics:
TP Terrestrial Planets
GP Giant Planet Systems
MG Magnetospheres and Space Physics
MTI Missions, Techniques and Industry
MTW MT Technology Foresight Workshops
EX Exoplanets and Origins
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.
Manuel Grande and Maria Teresa Capria
on behalf of the Scientific Organizing Committee
on behalf of Copernicus Meetings
Send submissions to:
Athena Coustenis, DPS Secretary (email@example.com)
LESIA (Bat. 18)
Observatoire de Paris-Meudon
5, place Jules Janssen
92195 Meudon Cedex