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1 Charter and Organization of the Board THE ORIGINS OF THE SPACE SCIENCE BOARD The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was created in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln, to provide scientific and technical advice to the government of the United States. Over the years, the breadth of the institution has expanded, leading to the establishment of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 1964 and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1970. The National Research Council (NRC), the operational arm of the National Academies, was founded in 1916. The NAS, NAE, IOM, and NRC are collectively referred to as “The National Academies.” More information is available at http://nationalacademies.org. The original charter of the Space Science Board was established in June 1958, 3 months before the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) opened its doors. The Space Science Board and its successor, the Space Studies Board (SSB), have provided expert external and independent scientific and programmatic advice to NASA on a continuous basis from NASA’s inception until the present. The SSB has also provided such advice to other executive branch agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the Department of Defense, as well as to Congress. The fundamental charter of the Board today remains that defined by NAS president Detlev W. Bronk in a letter to Lloyd V. Berkner, first chair of the Board, on June 26, 1958, which established the Space Science Board: We have talked of the main task of the Board in three parts—the immediate program, the long-range program, and the international aspects of both. In all three we shall look to the Board to be the focus of the interests and responsibilities of the Academy-Research Council in space science; to establish necessary relationships with civilian science and with governmental science activities, particularly the proposed new space agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency; to represent the Academy-Research Council complex in our international relations in this field on behalf of American science and scientists; to seek ways to stimulate needed research; to promote necessary coordination of scientific effort; and to provide such advice and recommendations to appropriate individuals and agencies with regard to space science as may in the Board’s judgment be desirable. As we have already agreed, the Board is intended to be an advisory, consultative, correlating, evaluating body and not an operating agency in the field of space science. It should avoid responsibility as a Board for the conduct of any programs of space research and for the formulation of budgets relative thereto. Advice to agencies properly responsible for these matters, on the other hand, would be within its purview to provide. The Space Science Board changed its name to the Space Studies Board in 1989 to reflect its expanded scope, which now includes space applications and other topics. Today, the SSB exists to provide an independent, authorita- tive forum for information and advice on all aspects of space science and applications, and it serves as the focal point within the National Academies for activities on space research. It oversees advisory studies and program assess- 1
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2 Space Studies Board Annual Report—2011 ments, facilitates international research coordination, and promotes communications on space science and science policy among the research community, the federal government, and the interested public. The SSB also serves as the U.S. National Committee for the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council for Science. THE SPACE STUDIES BOARD TODAY The Space Studies Board is a unit of the NRC’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences (DEPS). DEPS is one of six major program units of the NRC through which the institution conducts its operations on behalf of NAS, NAE, and IOM. Within DEPS there are a total of 13 boards that cover a broad range of physical science and engineering disciplines and mission areas. Members of the DEPS Committee on Engineering and Physical Sciences (DEPSCOM) provide advice on Board membership and on proposed new projects to be undertaken by ad hoc study committees formed under the SSB’s auspices. Every 3 years, DEPSCOM reviews the overall operations of each of the DEPS boards. The next review of the SSB will take place in 2013. The “Space Studies Board” encompasses the Board itself, its standing committees (see Chapter 2) and ad hoc study committees (see Chapter 3), and its staff. The Board is composed of prominent scientists, engineers, industrial - ists, scholars, and policy experts in space research appointed for 2-year staggered terms. They represent seven space research disciplines: space-based astrophysics, heliophysics (also referred to as solar and space physics), Earth sci- ence, solar system exploration, microgravity life and physical sciences, space systems and technology, and science and technology policy. In 2011, there were 23 Board members. The Executive Committee (XCOM) assists the chairs of the Board in oversight of activities. A liaison member of the NRC’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) and the U.S. representative to COSPAR are ex officio participants. A standing liaison arrangement also has been established with the European Space Science Committee (ESSC), part of the European Science Foundation. Organization The organization of the SSB in 2011 is illustrated in Figure 1.1. Taken together, the Board and its standing and ad hoc study committees generally hold as many as 40 meetings during the year. Major Functions of the Space Studies Board The Board provides an independent, authoritative forum for information and advice on all aspects of space sci- ence and applications and serves as the focal point within the National Academies for activities on space research. The Board itself does not conduct studies, but it oversees advisory studies and program assessments conducted by ad hoc study committees (see Chapter 3) generally formed in response to a request from a sponsor. All projects proposed to be conducted by ad hoc study committees under the auspices of the SSB must be reviewed and endorsed by the chair and vice chair of the Board (as well as other NRC officials). Decadal surveys are a signature product of the SSB, providing strategic direction to NASA, NSF, the Department of Energy, NOAA, and other agencies on the top priorities over the next 10 years in astronomy and astrophysics, solar system exploration, solar and space physics, and Earth science. (The astronomy and astrophysics decadal sur- vey is a joint effort with the NRC’s Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA).) A decadal survey on biological and physical sciences in space, a joint effort with ASEB, was formed in 2009 in response to a congressional request for a study to establish priorities and provide recommendations for life and physical sciences space research, including research that will enable exploration missions in microgravity and partial gravity for the 2010-2020 decade. This report was released in 2011 (see Chapter 3). The Board serves as a communications bridge on space research and science policy among the scientific research community, the federal government, and the interested public. The Board ordinarily meets at least two times per year (Spring and Fall) to review the activities of its committees and to be briefed on and discuss major space policy issues. Every second year the Fall Board meeting involves a workshop on a topic of current interest and results in a workshop report.
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3 Charter and Organization of the Board U.S. Space Studies Board Executive Representative Committee to COSPAR Committee on Committee on Committee on Committee on Planetary Committee on Earth Studies the Origins and Solar and Space Physics and Lunar Exploration Astronomy and Evolution of Life Astrophysics Board on Life Board on Physics Sciences and Astronomy Ad Hoc Study Committees Assessing Requirements for Sustained Ocean Color Evaluation of Space Radiation Cancer Risk Model Research and Operations Ocean Studies Board Implementing Recommendations from New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey Assessment of NASA’s Earth Science Program Board on Physics and Astronomy Decadal Strategy for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) Planetary Protection Standards for Icy Bodies in the Solar System Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Planetary Science Decadal Survey: 2013-2022 Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Workshop The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate Denotes Collaborations FIGURE 1.1 Organization of the Space Studies Board, its standing committees, ad hoc study committees, and special projects in 2011. Shaded boxes denote activities performed in cooperation with other National Research Council units. International Representation and Cooperation The Board serves as the U.S. National Committee for COSPAR, an international, multidisciplinary forum for exchanging space science research. Board members may individually participate in COSPAR scientific sessions to present their research or present the results of an SSB report to the international community, or conduct informal information exchange sessions with national entities within COSPAR scientific assemblies. See Chapter 3 for a summary of COSPAR’s 2011 activities. The Board also has a regular practice of exchanging observers with the ESSC, which is part of the European Science Foundation (see http://www.esf.org/). Space Studies Board Committees Executive Committee The Executive Committee, composed entirely of Board members, facilitates the conduct of the Board’s busi- ness, permits the Board to move rapidly to lay the groundwork for new study activities, and provides strategic planning advice. XCOM meets annually for a session on the assessment of SSB operations and future planning. Its membership includes the chair and vice chair of the Board and one Board member for each discipline.
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4 Space Studies Board Annual Report—2011 Standing Committees Discipline-based standing committees are the means by which the Board conducts its oversight of specific space research disciplines. Each standing committee is composed of about a dozen specialists, appointed to repre- sent the broad sweep of research areas within the discipline. Like the Board itself, each standing committee serves as a communications bridge with its associated research community and participates in identifying new projects and prospective members of ad hoc study committees. Standing committees do not, themselves, write reports, but oversee reports written by ad hoc study committees created under their auspices. Standing committees typically go on hiatus during their discipline’s decadal survey. In 2011, SSB had five standing committees: • Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA), • Committee on Earth Studies (CES), renamed the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space, • Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life (COEL), • Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX), and • Committee on Solar and Space Physics (CSSP). Both COEL and COMPLEX were disestablished on September 18, 2011. Plans were underway in 2011 to establish the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science (CAPS) to combine the responsibilities formerly exercised by COMPLEX and COEL. Ad Hoc Study Committees Ad hoc study committees are created by NRC action to conduct specific studies at the request of sponsors. These committees typically produce NRC reports that provide advice to the government and therefore are governed by Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). Ad hoc study committees usually write their reports after holding two or three information-gathering meetings, although in some cases they may hold a workshop in addition to or instead of information-gathering meetings. In other cases, workshops are organized by ad hoc planning committees that serve as organizers only, where a workshop report is written by a rapporteur and does not contain findings or recommendations. In those cases, the study committee is not governed by FACA Section 15, since no NRC advice results from the workshop. The ad hoc study committees that were in place during 2011 are summarized in Chapter 3. COLLABORATION WITH OTHER NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL UNITS Much of the work of the SSB involves topics that fall entirely within its principal areas of responsibility and can be addressed readily by its members and committees. However, there are other situations in which the need for breadth of expertise, alternative points of view, or synergy with other NRC projects leads to collaboration with other units of the NRC. The SSB has engaged in many such multi-unit collaborations. The NRC boards with which the SSB works most often are the ASEB, the BPA, the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, and the Board on Life Sciences. The SSB has also collaborated with the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, the Board on Health Sciences Policy, the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Their Applications, the Laboratory Assessments Board, and the Ocean Studies Board, among others. This approach to projects has the poten- tial to bring more of the full capability of the National Academies to bear in preparing advice for the federal govern- ment and the public. Multi-unit collaborative projects also present new challenges—namely, to manage the projects in a way that achieves economies of scale and true synergy rather than just adding cost or complexity. Collaborative relationships between the SSB and other NRC units during 2011 are illustrated in Figure 1.1. ASSURING THE QUALITY OF SPACE STUDIES BOARD REPORTS A major contributor to the quality of the SSB reports (Table 1.1 lists the 2011 releases) is the requirement that NRC reports be peer-reviewed. Except for the Space Studies Board Annual Report—2010, all of the reports were
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5 Charter and Organization of the Board TABLE 1.1 Space Studies Board Reports Released in 2011 Principal Audiencesb Oversight Committee NASA/ NASA/ or Boarda Report Title Sponsors SMD ESMD NOAA NSF Other Assessing Requirements for Sustained Ocean Color Research NASA, OSB X X X ONR and Operations NOAA, NSF, ONR Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and NASA SSB X Congress Physical Sciences Research for a New Era Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations NASA BPA X X DOE from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Surveyc Sharing the Adventure with the Public—The Value of NASA SSB X X X X Industry Excitement: Summary of a Workshop Space societies Space Studies Board Annual Report—2010 NASA SSB X X X X DOE USGS Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade NASA, SSB X X 2013-2022 NSF NOTE: NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; NSF, National Science Foundation; ONR, Office of Naval Research. aOversight committee or board within the National Research Council: BPA Board on Physics and Astronomy OSB Ocean Studies Board SSB Space Studies Board bPrincipal audiences: Federal agencies that have funded or shown interest in SSB reports. DOE Department of Energy NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA/ESMD NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate NASA/SMD NASA Science Mission Directorate NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NSF National Science Foundation USGS United States Geological Survey cReleased December 2010. subjected to extensive peer review, which is overseen by the NRC’s Report Review Committee (RRC). Typically 7 to 10 reviewers (occasionally as many as 15 or more) are selected on the basis of recommendations by NAS and NAE section liaisons, SSB members, and staff. The reviewers are subject to approval by the NRC. The identities of external reviewers are not known to a report’s authors until after the review has been completed and the report has been approved by the RRC. The report’s authors, with the assistance of SSB staff, must provide some response to every specific comment from every external reviewer. To ensure that appropriate technical revisions are made to the report and that the revised report complies with NRC policy and standards, the response-to-review process is overseen and refereed by an independent arbiter (called a monitor) that is knowledgeable about the report’s issues. In some cases, there is a second independent arbiter (called a coordinator) that has a broader perspective on policy issues affecting the National Academies or a more narrow focus on the subject matter of the report, depending on the expertise of the monitor. All of the reviews emphasize the need for scientific and technical clarity and accuracy and for proper substantiation of any findings and recommendations presented in the report. Names of the external reviewers, including the monitor (and coordinator if one was appointed), are published in the final report, but their individual comments are not released. Another important method to ensure high-quality work derives from the size, breadth, and depth of the cadre of experts who serve on the SSB and its committees or participate in other ways in the activities of the SSB. Some highlights of the demographics of the SSB in 2011 are presented in Tables 1.2 and 1.3. During 2011, a total of 301 individuals from 32 colleges and universities and 36 other public or private organizations served as formally appointed members of the Board and its committees. More than 70 individuals participated in SSB activities either
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6 Space Studies Board Annual Report—2011 TABLE 1.2 Experts Involved in the Space Studies Board and Its Committees, January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011 Number of Board and Committee Members Number of Institutions or Agencies Represented Academia 196 32 Government and national facilities 30 10 Private industry 42 17 Nonprofit and othera 33 9 Totalb,c 301 68 aOther includes foreign institutions and entities not classified elsewhere. bIncludes 48 National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine members. cIncludes 23 Board members, 278 committee members. TABLE 1.3 Summary of Participation in Space Studies Board Activities, January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011 Government and Academia National Facilities Private Industry Nonprofit and Other Total Individuals Board/committee members 196 30 42 33 301 Guest experts 62 55 25 6 148 Reviewers 84 3 13 9 109 Workshop planners 12 2 3 7 24 Total 354 90 83 55 582 NOTE: Counts of individuals are subject to an uncertainty of ±3 due to possible miscategorization. Total number of NAS, NAE, and/or IOM members 52 Total number of non-U.S. participants 12 Total number of countries represented, including United States 5 Total number of different institutions represented Academia 65 Government and national facilities 19 Industry 26 Nonprofit and other 18 as presenters, working group members, or as workshop planners. The report review process is as important as the writing of reports, and during 2011, 57 different external reviewers contributed to critiques of draft reports. Overall, 582 individuals from 65 academic institutions, 44 industry or nonprofit organizations, and 19 government agencies or offices participated in SSB activities. That number included 52 members of NAS, NAE, or IOM. Being able to draw on such a broad base of expertise is a unique strength of the NRC advisory process. AUDIENCE AND SPONSORS The Space Studies Board’s efforts have been relevant to a full range of government audiences in civilian space research—including NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD), NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD, which in mid-2011 combined with NASA’s Space Operations and Exploration Systems Mis- sion Directorate to form the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, or HEO), NASA’s Program Analysis and Evaluation Office, NSF, NOAA, USGS, and the Department of Energy (DOE). Reports on NASA- wide issues were addressed to multiple NASA offices or the whole agency; reports on science issues, to SMD; and reports on exploration systems issues, to ESMD (or HEO). Within NASA, SMD has been the leading sponsor of SSB reports. Reports have also been sponsored by or of interest to agencies besides NASA—for example, NOAA, NSF, DOE, and USGS.
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7 Charter and Organization of the Board OUTREACH AND DISSEMINATION Enhancing outreach to a variety of interested communities and improving dissemination of SSB reports is a high priority. In 2011, the SSB continued to distribute its quarterly newsletter by electronic means to subscribers. The Board teamed with other NRC units (including the Division on Earth and Life Studies, the BPA, the National Academies Press, the Office of News and Public Information, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) to take exhibits to national meetings of the American Geophysical Union and the American Astronomical Society. More than 1,000 reports were disseminated in addition to the copies distributed to study committee members, the Board, and sponsors. A DVD compilation of SSB reports since 1958 is also included with the annual report and disseminated by mail and at exhibits and meetings. Formal reports delivered to government sponsors constitute one of the primary products of the work of the SSB, but the dissemination process has a number of other important elements. The Board is always seeking ways to ensure that its work reaches the broadest possible appropriate audience and that it has the largest beneficial impact. Copies of reports are routinely provided to key executive branch officials, members and staffs of relevant congres- sional committees, and members of other interested NRC and federal advisory bodies. Members of the press are notified about the release of each new report, and the SSB maintains a substantial mailing list for distribution of reports to members of the space research community. The SSB publishes summaries of all new reports in its quar- terly newsletter. The SSB also offers briefings by committee chairs and members or SSB staff to officials in Con- gress, the executive branch, and scientific societies. Reports are posted on the SSB Web home page at http://www7. nationalacademies.org/ssb and linked to the National Academies Press Web site for reports at http://www.nap.edu. LLOYD V. BERKNER SPACE POLICY INTERNSHIP The Space Studies Board has operated a very successful competitive internship program since 1992. The Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Internship is named after Dr. Berkner, the Board’s first chair, who played an instrumental role in creating and promoting the International Geophysical Year, a global effort that made it possible for scientists from around the world to coordinate observations of various geophysical phenomena. The general goal of each internship is to provide a promising undergraduate student an opportunity to work in civil space research policy in the nation’s capital, under the aegis of the National Academies. Interns work with the Board, its committees, and staff on one or more of the advisory projects currently underway. Other interns, paid or unpaid, also join the SSB staff on an ad hoc basis. For intern opportunities at the SSB, and a list of past SSB interns, visit the SSB Web site at http://sites. nationalacademies.org/SSB/ssb_052239.