Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science
The overarching purpose of the committee is to support scientific progress in astrobiology and planetary science and assist the federal government in integrating and planning programs in these fields.
The CAPS scope spans space-based and supporting ground-based planetary research within our own solar system, including, for example, geosciences, atmospheres, particles and fields of planets, moons, and small bodies, as well as astrobiology, planetary astronomy, and planetary protection. The CAPS provides an independent, authoritative forum for identifying and discussing issues in astrobiology and planetary science between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public.
The CAPS will also monitor the progress in implementation of the recommendations of the Vision and Voyages (V&V) decadal survey--building on the survey that was tasked with canvassing the field of space- and ground-based planetary science to determine the current state of knowledge and then identify the most important scientific questions expected to face the community during the interval 2013-2022 and addressing relevant programmatic and implementation issues of interest to NASA and NSF--and the consequences to V&V and the research community of the changes in budget structure anticipated in the near future. The need for careful monitoring is underscored by the fact that some of the survey's recommendations are associated with a set of triggers and decision rules. Other developments that trigger the need for reassessment include cost growth and/or changes of scope in the project baseline.
In fulfilling these responsibilities, the committee may formulate and oversee ad-hoc studies related to the implementation of the V&V survey and on issues in astrobiology and planetary science more broadly, including.
- The scientific quality and the potential for discovery in the field;
- The scientific impact of a change in the technical design, cost estimate, schedule, or programmatic sequencing of one or more of the decadal survey recommended activities;
- The impact of scientific advances on the technical design, schedule, or programmatic sequencing of one or more decadal survey recommended activities;
- The impact of changing budget priorities, especially those that challenge the fundamental assumptions of V&V, on the implementation of decadal survey priorities and on planetary science research more broadly; and
- The potential impact on a recommended course of action at a decision point described in the decadal survey.
The committee is pleased to acknowledge support from NASA for this activity.
Philip R. Christensen, Arizona State University (Co-Chair)
James Gregory Ferry, Pennsylvania State University (Co-Chair)
Sushil K. Atreya, University of Michigan
Amy C. Barr, Brown University
Richard P. Binzel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
John Clarke, Boston University
Geoffery Collins, Wheaton College
Pascale Ehrenfreund, George Washington University
Linda T. Elkins-Tanton, Carnegie Institution for Science
G. Scott Hubbard, Stanford University
Laurie A. Leshin, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Stephen Mackwell, Lunar and Planetary Institute
Michael Russell, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Gary Ruvkun, NAS, IOM Harvard Medical School
Gerald Schubert, NAS University of California, Los Angeles
Barbara Sherwood Lollar, University of Toronto
Norman H. Sleep, NAS Stanford University
Cristina Takacs-Vesbach University of Mexico
Roger V. Yelle, University of Arizona
View Member Bios
David H. Smith, Senior Program Officer
Amanda Thibault, Research Associate
Rodney Howard, Senior Program Assistant
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Past Meeting Presentations *
May 23-25, 2012 (In order of agenda)
James Green, NASA HeadquartersSean Solomon, Carnegie Institution of WashingtonChristopher House, Pennsylvania State UniversityDouglas McCuistion, NASA HeadquartersOrlando Figueroa, Orlando Leadership Enterprise, LLCMary Voytek, NASA HeadquartersSteven Squyres, Cornell UniversityRobert Pappalardo, Jet Propulsion LaboratoryJames Ulvestad, National Science FoundationGeoffery Collins, Icy Bodies Planetary Protection Study Vice ChairCatherine Conley, NASA HeadquartersDante Lauretta, University of ArizonaGreg Slater, McMaster University
*This list of available presentations contains only those in which the presenter has agreed to permit its posting on this website. If there are other presentations you hope to view, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
for further information.