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Space Science and Technology
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book coverIssues and Opportunities Regarding the U.S. Space ProgramA Summary Report of a Workshop on National Space Policy   (SSB ,ASEB)
Released 2004-02-02

book coverVehicle Systems Panel Report on the Status of NASA's Vehicles Systems ProgramLetter Report   (ASEB)
Released 2004-01-16

In November 2003, ASEB released a report, An Assessment of NASA’s Aeronautics Technology Programs. After the release, NASA requested the NRC to reconvene the Panel on Vehicle Systems Program, which had been established as part of the study infrastructure for the report. Specifically, NASA wanted an evaluation of the progress made by the Program in formulating and directing its activities over the past nine months (since March 2003). This letter report presents the findings of that review. In almost all cases, the recommendations contained in this letter report, amplify and reinforce those contained in the full report.

book coverSteps to Facilitate Principal-Investigator-Led Earth Science Missions   (SSB)
Released 2004-04-21

Principal-investigator (PI) Earth science missions are small, focused science projects involving relatively small spacecraft. The selected PI is responsible for the scientific and programmatic success of the entire project. A particular objective of PI-led missions has been to help develop university-based research capacity. Such missions, however, pose significant challenges that are beyond the capabilities of most universities to manage. To help NASA’s Office of Earth Science determine how best to address these, the NRC carried out an assessment of key issues relevant to the success of university-based PI-led Earth observation missions. This report presents the result of that study. In particular, the report provides an analysis of opportunities to enhance such missions and recommendations about whether and, if so, how they should be used to build university-based research capabilities.

book coverPlasma Physics of the Local Cosmos   (SSB)
Released 2004-05-06

Solar and space physics is the study of solar system phenomena that occur in the plasma state. Examples include sunspots, the solar wind, planetary magnetospheres, radiation belts, and the aurora. While each is a distinct phenomenon, there are commonalities among them. To help define and systematize these universal aspects of the field of space physics, the National Research Council was asked by NASA’s Office of Space Science to provide a scientific assessment and strategy for the study of magnetized plasmas in the solar system. This report presents that assessment. It covers a number of important research goals for solar and space physics. The report is complementary to the NRC report, The Sun to the Earth—and Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy for Solar and Space Physics, which presents priorities and strategies for future program activities.

book coverStepping-Stones to the Future of Space ExplorationA Workshop Report   (ASEB)
Released 2004-05-27

book coverReview of USAF-Supported Astronomical ResearchLetter Report   (BPA)
Released 0000-00-00

book coverAssessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space TelescopeLetter Report   (ASEB ,SSB)
Released 2004-07-13

book coverUtilization of Operational Environmental Satellite DataEnsuring Readiness for 2010 and Beyond   (SSB ,ASEB ,BASC)
Released 0000-00-00

The system of satellites in place to provide environmental data-data to monitor events such as forest fires and floods; to make weather predictions; and to assess crops, transportation impacts, fisheries, land-use patterns, sea temperature, and soil moisture, among other things- serves a wide and growing array of users. In the coming years as the next generation of operational environmental satellites in put in orbit, the will be a large expansion in data availability. To ensure that these data serve effectively this broad user community, a new vision for the future of operational environmental satellite data utilization is needed. To help develop approaches for handling this potential data overload, NASA, with technical support from NOAA, asked the NRC to conduct an end-to-end review of issues about the utilization of operational environmental satellite data for 2010 and beyond. This report presents the result of that review. It focuses on ensuring the value of environmental satellite data for addressing specific user needs, distribution of such data, and data access and utilization.

book coverLetter Report from the Panel for the Review of Proposals for NASA's Intelligent Propulsion Systems Foundation Technology (PSFT) Program   (ASEB)
Released 2004-10-18