Download A Performance Assessment of NASA's Astrophysics Program by National Research Council, Division on Engineering and PDF

By National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Space Studies Board, NASA Astrophysics Performance Assessment Committee

Whereas a few notable discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics have taken position during the last twenty years, many very important questions stay. persevered growth in those fields would require NASA's management. to assist confirm if NASA can meet this problem, Congress, within the 2005 NASA Authorization Act, directed the business enterprise to have "the functionality of every department within the technological know-how directorate...reviewed and assessed by means of the nationwide Academy of Sciences at 5-year intervals." In early 2006, NASA requested the NRC to behavior such an evaluation for the agency's Astrophysics department. This file provides an review of the way good NASA's present application addresses the thoughts, ambitions, and priorities defined in past Academy experiences. The record presents an research of development towards figuring out those options, targets, and priorities; and a dialogue of activities which may be taken to optimize the clinical price of this system within the context of present and forecasted assets.

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Extra info for A Performance Assessment of NASA's Astrophysics Program

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Therefore, the committee concluded that the rate of increase in the overall astrophysics budget is not a major contributing factor in this discussion. 2Figures in the list were provided (in real-year dollars) to the committee by NASA Astrophysics Division staff. 1), redirected toward the president’s new vision for space exploration. 5 billion per year, for a total of about $15 billion for the 10-year period. Thus, the more than $4 billion gap relative to the expectations of the AANM survey is currently projected to amount by the end of the decade to about 25 percent of NASA’s astrophysics budget.

By choosing to defer the entire Beyond Einstein suite of missions until 2009 at the earliest, the 4This strategy is not the only strategy that would be consistent with survey priorities. One possibility would be to develop more missions simultaneously, while still giving some priority to the highestranked missions. The committee recognizes that such a strategy would have signiicant drawbacks as well. That said, this strategy and others are advocated by some members of the community and are mentioned to complete the discussion.

Launch is planned in the 2013 timeframe. The development of JWST has not been without problems. 3 billion, roughly $2 billion (in FY 2006 dollars) more than the AANM decadal survey anticipated. This cost increase can be traced to a number of factors. The cost estimate provided by NASA to the AANM decadal survey committee was unrealistically low. 5 billion through to launch. Since that baseline was established, the cost of the project has increased by nearly another billion dollars. 8This section does not discuss the ARISE mission, which has not been funded and does not appear in any NASA roadmap.

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