NASA Agency OverviewNASA’s Vision and Fundamental Physics in Space Paul Hertz Chief Scientist, Science Mission Directorate NASA International Workshop on Fundamental Physics Research in Space May 22-24, 2006
The NASA Mission: To pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research. The Vision for Space Exploration: To advance U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests through a robust space exploration program.
NASA’s Strategic Goals* • Strategic Goal 1: Fly the Shuttle as safely as possible until its retirement, not later than 2010. • Strategic Goal 2: Complete the International Space Station in a manner consistent with NASA’s International Partner commitments and the needs of human exploration. • Strategic Goal 3: Develop a balanced overall program of science, exploration, and aeronautics consistent with the redirection of the human spaceflight program to focus on exploration. • Strategic Goal 4: Bring a new Crew Exploration Vehicle into service as soon as possible after Shuttle retirement. • Strategic Goal 5: Encourage the pursuit of appropriate partnerships with the emerging commercial space sector. • Strategic Goal 6: Establish a lunar return program having the maximum possible utility for later missions to Mars and other destinations. * 2006 NASA Strategic Plan
Science Space Operations Aeronautics Research Exploration Systems
What Powered the Big Bang? What Happens at the Edge of a Black Hole? What is the Dark Energy Pulling the Universe Apart? Where Do the Elements of Life Come From? Are There Other Habitable Worlds? Where do Planets Come From?
Current Missions WMAP Glimpses the Universe’s First Trillionth of a Second Gravity Probe B Searches for Frame Dragging Hubble and Chandra observe Black Holes and Dark Energy Swift Uncovers the Origin of Gamma Ray Bursts New Horizons is Off to Pluto MESSENGER is on its Way to Mercury
Future Missions The Beyond Einstein Program Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (with DOE) Planck (with ESA) Constellation-X Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (with ESA) Joint Dark Energy Mission (with DOE)
Strategic Decisions Budget & Priorities
Science Budget Strategy • To support Space Operations Mission Directorate requirements within a fixed Agency budget, reductions to previous Science planning are necessary • Science gets 1.5% growth from FY06 to 07, 1% per year thereafter • $3.1B decrease from FY06 Budget runout • Strategy for Adjustments • Develop an executable program based on strategic National Academy science priorities
Science Priority Strategy Priorities set through Dialog with the Science Community • Strategic recommendations on science priorities via the NRC • Decadal surveys • Focused questions of a strategic nature • Review of strategic plans • Tactical advice on implementation of strategic priorities via • Science committee of the NAC and subordinate groups • Workshops with science investigator community • Participation in major professional societies (AGU, AMS, AAS, etc) • Technical interchange on detailed requirements and engineering trades via funded Principal Investigators and Science Teams
NASA Science Plan • SMD has two upcoming strategic planning requirements • Must implement NASA Strategic Plan goals for science • 2005 NASA Authorization Act requires NASA to deliver a Science Plan through 2016 to Congress in December 2006 • SMD intends to meet both requirements with one document: NASA Science Plan • Will create a Science Plan developed with the community, analogous to the old Enterprise Strategic Plan architecture • Drawn from community-based Roadmaps and National Academy Decadal Surveys • SMD to engage both NASA Advisory Council (Science Committee and Science Subcommittees) and NRC Space Studies Board through this process
NASA Advisory Council NASA Advisory Council (25 members) Science Committee (5 members) Human Capital Audit & Finance Exploration Aeronautics Science Subcommittees Executive Panel (chairs of SMD subcommittees) Planetary Protection Subcommittee Heliophysics Subcommittee Astrophysics Subcommittee Earth Science Subcommittee Planetary Science Subcommittee Each Subcommittee has about 15 members
Essentials for Science Planning • Science organization and planning at NASA has undergone considerable change over the past year, and there is more to come • But the essentials remain the same • Science questions drive mission and technology investment • Science priorities are set through dialog with the science community • Science and technology research will be selected based on open and competitive processes • The pace of scientific progress will demand continuous technological advancement • A vast web of partnerships in science, technology, and applications are required to conduct Earth and space science
Division Program SMD Programs Science Mission Directorate * Planetary Science Division Earth Science Division Astrophysics Division Heliophysics Division Hubble Space Telescope New Frontiers Living with a Star Earth System Science Pathfinder Mars Exploration Solar Terrestrial Probes Navigator Earth Systematic Missions Discovery James Webb Space Telescope New Millennium Applied Sciences Solar System Research Earth Science Research Explorers SOFIA Deep Space Mission Systems Cassini GLAST ESS Multimission Ops ISSC: Herschel/Planck Other Agency Support Programs Ground Network Universe Research Heliophysics Research Beyond Einstein
Role of Fundamental Physics • NASA uses space observatories, laboratory tests, and theoretical modeling to examine nature, expand scientists’ understanding of the contents of the universe and the physical processes that govern their behavior, and answer fundamental questions. • Cosmic Rays • Cosmology • Dark Energy • Black Holes • Gravitational Radiation • General Relativity • Etc.
Venues for Fundamental Physics • International Space Station • NASA use dedicated to understanding the effects of the space environment on human performance, and testing new technologies and countermeasures for long-duration human space exploration. • International partners conducting broader research program. • Satellites • Prioritized against other science opportunities within NASA’s science program. • Most concepts fall within NASA’s astrophysics division. • Solar system texts of General Relativity possible as experiments of opportunity within NASA’s planetary sciences division. • Lunar Surface • Prioritized against other science opportunities within NASA’s science and exploration programs. • Possibility of leveraged opportunities enabled by human exploration program.