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An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Earth and Space Science Missions A Statement of Task An ad-hoc committee will be organized under the auspices of the Space Studies Board to conduct a study of mission-enabling activities in NASA’s space and Earth sciences program. The study will identify the appropriate roles for mission-enabling activities and metrics for assessing their effectiveness. It also will evaluate how, from a strategic perspective, decisions should be made about balance between mission-related and mission-enabling elements of the overall program as well as balance between various elements within the mission-enabling component. Among the topics to be considered are the following: Roles and objectives of mission-enabling activities in NASA as a mission-oriented agency; Necessary characteristics of an effective program of mission-enabling activities, including metrics by which effectiveness can be evaluated; Principles and metrics for determining the appropriate balance of investments between mission-enabling activities and space flight missions so as to best support the agency’s overall strategic objectives; Principles and metrics for determining the appropriate allocation of effort and resources among various mission-enabling program components, including scientific infrastructure (e.g., airplanes, computing) that enables R&A activity; The role and proper fraction of support that should be devoted to “innovative” (high-risk, high-payoff) research, and whether this might vary among science areas; The extent to which current R&A programs support cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary science, especially across the divisions within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate; The role of R&A programs in training the next generation of Earth and space scientists who will contribute to NASA’s programs in the future; and Relevant benchmarks from industry or other public or private institutions where similar mission versus mission-enabling portfolio allocation assessments are made.