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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
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NASA's Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation



NASA's Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation

Released September 2007

The Beyond Einstein (BE) program is a set of five space missions designed to address important questions about physics and astrophysics. In 2003, NASA prepared a research roadmap proposing these five missions in order to study dark energy, black holes, gravitational radiation, inflation of the early universe, and Einstein's theory of gravitation. In FY2007, congressional language prompted NASA and DOE to request the NRC to assess these missions and recommend which to develop and launch first using a funding wedge that will start in 2009. This report provides, for each mission, an analysis of its scientific impact, an examination of technical risk and a cost assessment, and a review of related policy and programmatic issues. The report concludes with recommendations to guide the programs development.

Committee Members

Charles F. Kennel, co-chair, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Fiona A. Harrison, California Institute of Technology
Joseph H. Rothenberg, co-chair, Universal Space Network
Andrew Lankford, University of California, Irvine
Eric G. Adelberger, University of Washington
Dennis McCarthy, Swales Aerospace Institute, ret.
Bill Adkins, Adkins Strategies, LLC
Stephan S. Meyer, The University of Chicago
Thomas Appelquist, Yale University
Joel R. Primack, University of California
David A. Bearden, The Aerospace Corporation
Lisa J. Randall, Harvard University
James S. Barrowman (Resigned 11/8/07), Independent Consultant