Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Decadal Survey in 140 characters or less

I'm a member of the Inner Planets panel of the Planetary Science Decadal Survey. We're responsible for representing the communities who study Mercury, Venus, and the Moon. We recently held our first panel meeting in Washington DC and I tried to twitter along. The tweets were crossposted to Facebook and generated a lot of interesting discussion too! But if you aren't a fan of those two sites, here's the running narrative.

August 26th

6:21 AM I'm headed to DC for a meeting of the Inner Planets panel of the Decadal Survey. Hoping to twitter it! Stay tuned.

1:16 PM kicking off the closed session with boring but necessary logistics. http://bit.ly/QPq6U

1:24 PM I wonder how many mission statements you can sing to the tune of the Preamble to the Constitution. Well, at least one, the NAS.

1:30 PM the National Academy of Science started around he civil war; early studies included "how to keep soldiers from drinking too much whiskey"

1:37 PM in order of descending age: National Academy of Sciences > smackwell > Space Studies Board > NASA > me

2:27 PM bias and conflict of interest, or, True Confessions, Science Edition.

2:44 PM wow, what an impressive group of people assembled in this room. http://bit.ly/4iFWMO

3:07 PM I'll never, ever be sick of listening to Steve Squyres

3:52 PM open session (Ellen says, "truly open") beginning now. live webcast at https://admin.acrobat.com/_a825035659/psdecadal/

4:14 PM Only planetary bodies without current or planned missions: Uranus and Neptune. Good time to be a planetary scientist!

4:35 PM Discovery draft AO is signed and expected by FY09; AO by CY09; cost cap $425M excluding LV and ASRG provided as GFE. LOL and BYOB.

4:53 PM How is community input is shaping up for lunar science in white papers for the Decadal Survey? http://www.lpi.usra.edu/decadal/leag/

5:31 PM was the last decadal survey *too* detailed in specifying what missions were expected to accomplish? or does detail help scope the issues?

5:46 PM open session is over. we're breaking before a working dinner. predinner: small group to get the creative juices flowing ;)

August 27

8:07 AM ILN is first on the agenda today; nerves starting to set in.

8:09 AM Inner Planets webcast and telecon number are listed on our agenda: http://bit.ly/QPq6U

10:08 AM Sean Solomon is talking about Mercury now. Mercury is cool (hot). Also Sean is wearing an excellent abstract-modern-planetary tie.

10:21 AM Great acronym for a Mercury mission: WGBMWGMWDPD! (We're Going Back to Mercury and We're Going to Map the Whole Damn Planet Dammit!)

10:34 AM huh, Mercury's spectra are pretty flat - not much ability to pull out mineralogy.

10:40 AM Post-MESSENGER, Bepi-Columbo ESA/JAXA mission with dual coplanar orbiters to Mercury in 2014. What should be next? Landers or sample return?

11:35 AM ahhhh, for days spent lounging by warm salty oceans on Venus.

1:04 PM 2 really awesome lunch discussions with 2 of my science idols, wow, I am lucky to be here.

1:08 PM Sue Smrekar: Venus challenges our ideas of how a terrestrial planet "should" work.

1:54 PM Jim Head on future science for Moon & Mars: the future is not in plastics, but plasticity - that is, adaptability and opportunity

2:22 PM Did Carl Sagan really call the Moon a burned-out cinder? Wow. That's harsh.

2:37 PM Venus: Earth's twin? Earth's sister? Earth's future self? Some other relation?

2:42 PM Jim Head: Could global resurfacing (Venus) happen here? If I were in charge of Earth, I'd worry about it; fortunately for everyone I'm not.

3:34 PM For the rest of the afternoon, we'll be talking about JPL, APL, and GSFC support for mission studies we'll be exploring.

4:14 PM I have a new role model: Ellen Stofan. She's brilliant, organized, and wears pink.

4:36 PM GSFC on LRO: "Even though this mission went to the Moon, it really was very much like a planetary mission"

5:18 PM thank you thank you thank you GSFC and APL presenters for making up schedule time.

August 29

8:15 AM Inner Planets starting in 15 minutes; join us using info here http://bit.ly/QPq6U

8:17 AM Sample Return: Part of a balanced and nutritious planetary mission portfolio

8:44 AM Sample return missions include more than just the mission itself - curation and laboratory facilities are crucial (but legacy)

8:55 AM atmospheric sample return from Venus?

9:39 AM lunar meteorites = poor man's sample return mission

10:12 AM Closed session until lunch - discussing all the work we have in front of us!

10:25 AM Everyone should be writing or endorsing White Papers - it's your way of letting us know what's important to you!! http://tiny.cc/ID2Ch

11:37 AM How well did NASA follow the recommendations of the last Planetary Decadal Survey? http://bit.ly/8dFlh

12:59 PM White papers *must* be submitted via the SSB web page by September 15! http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/SSEdecadal2011.html

3:27 PM this afternoon: DCA-PHX, shuttle to Flagstaff. Tomorrow I join @DESERT_RATS; *so* psyched!

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