B
The Space Studies Board

The Space Studies Board (SSB) is one of the many legacies of the IGY. Originally named the Space Science Board, it was established on June 26, 1958 within the National Academy of Sciences to advise federal agencies on U.S. rocket and satellite research. Dr. Lloyd Berkner, who led efforts to establish the IGY, was the first chair of the SSB.

The impetus for creating the SSB was to enable the nation’s top scientists to advise the government on the scientific potential of artificial satellites following the first satellite launches during the IGY. In 1958, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the act that created NASA, the SSB was already in place to serve as a bridge between the government and the far-flung, largely university-based scientific research enterprise.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) itself was created in 1863 by a law signed by President Abraham Lincoln. One of its major functions is to provide advice to the government on scientific issues. In 1916, the NAS created the National Research Council (NRC) to manage the increasing number of studies that were being requested. In 1964, the NAS created the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and in 1970 the Institute of Medicine (IOM), to focus attention on those specialties as well. These three institutions, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine are honorific societies to which individuals are elected because they are distinguished in their fields. Among other tasks, the government turns to these Academies and their distinguished members to help determine scientific priorities for federally-funded research. The NRC is administered through a Governing Board composed of the Presidents and other members of the NAS, NAE and IOM. The NRC is currently organized into about 60 boards that are each focused on a particular topic or discipline.

The Space Studies Board provides an independent, authoritative forum for information and advice on all aspects of space research and applications, and serves as the focal point within the National Academies for activities related to space research. In carrying out these tasks it oversees advisory studies and program assessments and promotes communications on space science and science policy between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public. The SSB also serves as the U.S. National Committee for the International Council for Science’s Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Several other boards in the Academies also deal with space program issues, including the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board. These boards work closely together.

The SSB has five standing committees: the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Committee on Earth Studies, the Committee on the Origin and Evolution of Life, the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, and the Committee on Solar and Space Physics. These committees and the Board itself provide strategic direction for the Board’s activities and serve as a bridge between their communities and the government. Studies are conducted by specially created “ad hoc” study committees whose membership is tailored to the topic of the study. All members of the



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 149
B The Space Studies Board The Space Studies Board (SSB) is one of the many scientific priorities for federally-funded research. The legacies of the IGY. Originally named the Space Sci- NRC is administered through a Governing Board com- ence Board, it was established on June 26, 1958 within posed of the Presidents and other members of the NAS, the National Academy of Sciences to advise federal NAE and IOM. The NRC is currently organized into agencies on U.S. rocket and satellite research. Dr. Lloyd about 60 boards that are each focused on a particular Berkner, who led efforts to establish the IGY, was the topic or discipline. first chair of the SSB. The Space Studies Board provides an independent, The impetus for creating the SSB was to enable the authoritative forum for information and advice on all nation’s top scientists to advise the government on the aspects of space research and applications, and serves scientific potential of artificial satellites following the as the focal point within the National Academies for first satellite launches during the IGY. In 1958, when activities related to space research. In carrying out these President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the tasks it oversees advisory studies and program assess- act that created NASA, the SSB was already in place ments and promotes communications on space science to serve as a bridge between the government and the and science policy between the research community, far-flung, largely university-based scientific research the federal government, and the interested public. The enterprise. SSB also serves as the U.S. National Committee for The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) itself the International Council for Science’s Committee on was created in 1863 by a law signed by President Space Research (COSPAR). Several other boards in Abraham Lincoln. One of its major functions is to the Academies also deal with space program issues, in- provide advice to the government on scientific issues. In cluding the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board. 1916, the NAS created the National Research Council These boards work closely together. (NRC) to manage the increasing number of studies The SSB has five standing committees: the Com- that were being requested. In 1964, the NAS created mittee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Commit- the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and in tee on Earth Studies, the Committee on the Origin 1970 the Institute of Medicine (IOM), to focus atten- and Evolution of Life, the Committee on Planetary tion on those specialties as well. These three institu- and Lunar Exploration, and the Committee on Solar tions, the National Academy of Sciences, the National and Space Physics. These committees and the Board Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine itself provide strategic direction for the Board’s activi- are honorific societies to which individuals are elected ties and serve as a bridge between their communities because they are distinguished in their fields. Among and the government. Studies are conducted by specially other tasks, the government turns to these Academies created “ad hoc” study committees whose membership and their distinguished members to help determine is tailored to the topic of the study. All members of the 1

OCR for page 149
10 FORGING THE FUTURE OF SPACE SCIENCE Board, the standing committees and study committees ing its 50th birthday. Through the seminar series that are volunteers who serve without compensation. The led to the production of this book, it sought to engage SSB is very grateful to its volunteers, many of whom with the public and the scientific community to talk were involved in the seminar series. about the achievements of the past 50 years and look Consensus-based priority-setting is one of the ma- forward to the next 50 years of exciting discoveries that jor tasks of the SSB. There is much research to be done await us. in the space science disciplines, but only a finite amount The SSB would like to thank the extremely dis- of money. How does an agency like NASA determine tinguished individuals who participated in the panel what is the next most important research project to pur- discussions and presented fascinating lectures at our sue? Is it more important to send a spacecraft to further events. Very special thanks go to Dr. Lennard A. Fisk, study Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Titan to former chair of the SSB and chair of the seminar series determine if life could exist in either environment; To for his leadership and guidance and the sacrifices he build a space telescope to further study the universe in a made to ensure that he could participate in every particular wavelength of the electromagnetic spectrum event. Extra special thanks go to the SSB staff who (infrared, x-ray, gamma ray) or to search for gravita- worked tirelessly on the series. While almost everyone tional waves left over from the Big Bang; To solve the on the SSB staff participated at various times, the key riddle of dark energy or of dark matter; To measure individuals without whom the series could not have carbon in the atmosphere or ocean color? NASA turns been accomplished are Ian Pryke, project director; to the SSB to convene the top experts in the country Diana Alexander, event coordinator; Victoria Swisher, to independently and objectively provide consensus research associate; Tanja Pilzak, administrative coor- recommendations on what are the top priorities. dinator; Christina Shipman, financial officer; Carmela The SSB performs studies on a wide range of space Chamberlain, program associate; Celeste Naylor, senior research issues, but its signature product is the “decadal program assistant; Joe Alexander, senior program of- survey.” These studies are performed about once every ficer; and Barbara Akinwole, information resource 10 years (a decade) looking forward to the next 10 years manager. Finally, we would like to thank Harvey in each of the space science disciplines—astronomy Meyerson who was the inspiration for this seminar and astrophysics (which also prioritizes ground-based series and its first project director. As an aide to the late research in this field and is done in conjunction with the Senator Spark Matsunaga, Dr. Meyerson championed NRC’s Board on Physics and Astronomy), earth science international cooperation in space and established the and applications from space, microgravity biological International Space Year in 1992 to celebrate 35 years and physical science, planetary science, and solar and of space exploration. His idea that the 50th anniversary space physics (“heliophysics”). of the IGY similarly was worth celebrating was the All of the reports that have been generated over catalyst for what became this seminar series. the past 50 years of the SSB’s existence, including the We hope that you enjoy the lectures presented in decadal surveys, are available through the SSB’s web this book. site (http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb) and on a DVD that is available by contacting the SSB (ssb@ Marcia S. Smith nas.edu). Director, Space Studies Board The Space Studies Board was created in 1958 and March 2006–February 2009 so, like the International Geophysical Year, is celebrat-