AAS Electronic Announcement #138 -- June 2004
[Mailed from aas.org at 11:00am 9 JUNE 2004]
- CENTENNIAL CHALLENGES
- SCIENTIFIC BALLOONING ROADMAP TEAM
- JOINT DARK ENERGY MISSION
- COSMOS IN THE CLASSROOM 2004
- SYMPOSIUM IN HONOR OF DONALD E. OSTERBROCK
- RECENT DECADAL SURVEY REPORTS
- ASTRO-E2 GUEST OBSERVER PROGRAM - CYCLE 1
1. CENTENNIAL CHALLENGES
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will host a workshop on prize competitions to support the Nation's Vision for Space Exploration and ongoing NASA priorities on 15-16 June at the Hilton Washington in Washington, DC.
Centennial Challenges is designed to tap non-traditional sources of innovation, encourage competition, and leverage creative approaches to research, technology, discovery, and exploration wherever they may be found in our Nation.
Centennial Challenges is modeled on the highly successful history of ongoing and past prizes, including the X-Prize, the DARPA Grand Challenge, and 20th century aviation and 18th century navigation prizes.
Centennial Challenge prize competitions will be of special interest to researchers in academia and industry, offering rewards for new discoveries, breakthroughs in leading edge technologies, and revolutionary research capabilities. Similarly, educators and student teams will find Centennial Challenge prize competitions a stimulating way to excite and exercise future scientists.
For more information about Centennial Challenges, including instructions for joining the Centennial Challenges mailing list, see www.centennialchallenges.nasa.gov.
Information and the agenda for the 2004 Centennial Challenges Workshop, including registration and hotel reservation links, can be found at www.centennialchallenges.nasa.gov/workshop.htm.
2. SCIENTIFIC BALLOONING ROADMAP TEAM
NASA has appointed a Scientific Ballooning Roadmap Team, which is asked to identify requirements for both a minimal and an optimal scientific ballooning program, both in the near term and over the next ten to fifteen years. It is expected that the report of this team, due by the end of this year, will be considered as the Office of Space Science formulates its next Strategic Plan. The team's charter is broad, including solar, atmospheric, planetary, and astrophysics.
The team welcomes inputs from the community regarding opportunities for balloon-borne investigations and requirements on the balloon program for enabling those investigations. To submit your thoughts, please complete the form at http://cosray.wustl.edu/balloon/. This website also has links giving the charter and membership of this Roadmap Team and information about the NASA Balloon Program. Please send your inputs by 1 July 2004.
3. JOINT DARK ENERGY MISSION
Both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of Space Science and the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science have identified determining the nature of dark energy as a high priority science goal. A space-based mission to accomplish this goal has been made a near-term priority in strategic plans issued by both DOE and NASA. NASA and DOE have proposed to jointly realize such a mission as the Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM).
NASA and DOE invite scientists and technologists at U.S. institutions to serve as members of the JDEM Science Definition Team (SDT). The JDEM-SDT will develop findings for DOE and NASA that can be used to help assure the optimum scientific return from JDEM and, in particular, to ensure preparedness for beginning development of the mission.
Interested individuals should submit a letter to either NASA or DOE no later than 6 July 2004. Additional details on both the JDEM-SDT and the requested letter are available at http://spacescience.nasa.gov/admin/divisions/sz/jdem/letter_jdem_sdt.pdf.
4. COSMOS in the CLASSROOM 2004
A National Symposium on Teaching Astronomy for Non-science Majors Space is still available at the 3-day hands-on symposium on teaching introductory astronomy, to be held 16-18 July on the campus of Tufts University. The meeting is co-sponsored by the AAS (together with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and NASA's New England Space Science Initiative in Education).
The program includes components for veteran instructors as well as for those relatively new to teaching astronomy. A considerable part of the conference will be devoted to small-group, hands-on workshops with mentor instructors from around the country on a wide range of practical topics related to teaching.
There will be lots of opportunities for networking among instructors who teach in similar settings (community colleges, research universities, state colleges, etc.) and among those who create materials for or do research on the work of such instructors.
For more information and registration instructions, please see the meeting web site at: http://www.astrosociety.org/events/cosmos.html
5. SYMPOSIUM IN HONOR OF DONALD E. OSTERBROCK
A special symposium honoring Professor Donald E. Osterbrock as he turns 80, will be held in Santa Cruz, CA, from 28-30 July 2004. His illustrious career has spanned the last fifty years, and he has had major impact on the research topics featured in this Symposium. Most of the talks will be given by invited speakers presenting reviews of the status of forefront research on problems of gaseous nebulae, active galactic nuclei, and QSOs. For more information see http://www.ucolick.org/deo_symposium.
6. RECENT DECADAL SURVEY REPORTS
At the request of Edward J. Weiler, NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Science, the National Research Council is conducting a study to update the findings of recent decadal survey reports to take into account new capabilities resulting from Project Prometheus. The purposes of the study are:
1. To identify high priority space science objectives that could be uniquely enabled or greatly enhanced by development of advanced spacecraft nuclear power and propulsion systems; and
2. To make recommendations for an advanced technology Development program for long-term future space science mission nuclear power and propulsion capabilities.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, the overall goal of the study is not to rewrite or reprioritize the decadal surveys drafted in the last few years by the science communities served by NASA's Office of Space Science. Rather, the aim is to identify scientifically promising missions that might effectively utilize Prometheus technologies and be ready for implementation in the timeframe 2015 to 2030 and beyond. In other words, the study will identify mission concepts which, following additional study by NASA and the space-science community, will be sufficiently mature for prioritization within the context of the next set of decadal surveys.
A high level steering group and multiple panels have been established to conduct this update. The membership of the Solar System Exploration Panel consists of: Richard Binzel (Chair), Reta Beebe (Vice-Chair), Anita Cochran, Michael Duke, Krishan Khurana, Martha Gilmore, Heidi Hammel, James Head, Ralph Lorenz, Louise Prockter, Thomas Spilker, and David Stevenson.
The membership of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Panel consists of: Sterl Phinney (Chair), William Cochran (Vice-Chair), Gary Bernstein, Webster Cash, Michael Kaplan, Victoria Kaspi, Daniel Lester, Ho Jung Paik, and Edward Wright.
Please see the community input website for more details: http://qp.nas.edu/sse-strategy
We welcome AAS community input via the website or directly via email to mailto:email@example.com (subject line Prometheus). Your input stands the greatest chance of being acted upon if received prior to 2 August, 2004.
7. ASTRO-E2 GUEST OBSERVER PROGRAM - CYCLE 1
Proposals for participation in the NASA program for the conduct of scientific investigations using the Astro-E2 X-ray observatory are solicited under the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) entitled "Research Opportunities in Space Science - 2004" (ROSS-2004), released in January, 2004. The Astro-E2 Cycle 1 program is the NASA component of the international Astro-E2 Announcement of Opportunity-1 (AO-1) involving the participation of scientists in Japan, Europe, and the broader astrophysics community. Cycle 1 covers the 1 year period starting in September, 2005, for which proposals are due to NASA on 18 August 2004.
The mission is equipped with five high throughput X-ray Telescopes (XRTs) to cover up to 12 keV. A high resolution spectrometer (XRS) and four CCD cameras (XISs) are placed at foci of the telescopes. A hard X-ray detector (HXD) points in the same direction as the XRTs and covers up to 600 keV. The major features of Astro-E2 are the high resolution (E/dE ~ 1000 at 6 keV) spectroscopy and broad energy coverage from 0.2 to 600 keV.
Proposals for participation in the AO-1 program should be submitted to ISAS/JAXA, NASA, or ESA depending on the location of the PI's institution. Further details can be found at:
For Japanese, as well as all non-US, non-ESA scientists: http://www.astro.isas.jaxa.jp/astroe/
For US scientists: http://research.hq.nasa.gov/code_s/nra/current/nnh04zss001n-stroe2/index...
(Official announcement in Research Opportunities in Space Science - 2004)
For ESA scientists:
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