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AAS Electronic Notification Service - Announcement #3

AAS Electronic Notification Service - Announcement #3
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As announced earlier, we have moved to a new building at our old location. Only the address changes - 2000 Florida Ave., NW, Suite #400, Washington DC 20009.

Everything else remains the same.

This release contains four items:

* The NASA Budget faces serious cuts in the Senate: What you can do to help.

* The AAS is now accepting electronic manuscripts for the ApJ and AJ. We are providing additional support to get authors started.

* The VLA all-sky survey is under way. First maps are available now.

* The IAU General Assembly has an expanded scientific program. You can attend, even if you are not an IAU member.

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NASA Space Science Budget is in Jeopardy: What you can do to Help.
by Peter B. Boyce

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee which handles the NASA and NSF budgets is facing a shortfall in the amount of money available for NASA. At a June 6 hearing, Barbara Mikulski, Chair of the VA, HUD and Independent Agency Subcommittee, told NASA Administrator Dan Goldin that he should prioritize programs because the Committee would have difficulty funding more than $13.7 billion of NASA's $14.3 billion  request. If the Space Station is funded at its full level of $2.1 billion  and no more money can be found, the implications for space science are very bad. Sen. Mikulski said that level would force her to cut deeply into NASA's core functions, sacrificing space science to maintain the space station. She said they would likely have to terminate either the Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF) or the Cassini Saturn mission unless the Clinton administration is able to find additional funds elsewhere.

The space science community must speak out in the next two weeks supporting both major missions (AXAF and CASSINI). The AAS Council is drafting a letter to Vice President Gore urging administration help in finding additional funds for the NASA budget. The Space Science Working Group has the following advice:

"A number of space science groups will be sending letters in the coming weeks to OSTP and the White House expressing support for both AXAF and Cassini and urging the Administration's assistance in finding the funds needed to support NASA. Groups which have already expressed interest in sending such letters include SSAAC, AAS, SSWG and AGU. The Senate appropriations mark-up will not be until the week of July 18 at least, so we have a little time here. Sen. Mikulski should receive copies of all letters.

Letters to Members of Congress (except cc's to Mikulski) are not likely to be particularly helpful, especially if they pit AXAF and Cassini against one another. Contacts with Gore, Gibbons and Greenwood are seen as key."

Note that it is vital not to pit missions against each other. You should speak to the importance of the space science program. My advice is also that it will not be productive to rail against the Space Station since both Mikulski and the Administration are strong station supporters. Anti-station sentiment, if you have it, should be expressed to a different audience. What we want at this time is more funds so NASA can maintain a full program.

The American Institute of Physics has an informative FYI on Senator Mikulski's hearing which is included below.

The relevant addresses and fax numbers follow:

The Honorable Al Gore
Office of the Vice-President of the United States
Old Executive Office Building
Washington DC 20501
Fax: (202)456-7044

Dr. John Gibbons
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology
Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy
Executive Office of the President
Old Executive Office Building Room 424
Washington DC 20500
Fax: (202)456-6021

Dr. M.R.C. Greenwood (Speaker at the Jan. AAS Mtg.)
Associate Director for Science
Office of Science and Technology Policy
Old Executive Office Building Room 436
Washington DC 20500
Fax: (202)456-6027

Senator Barbara A. Mikulski
709 Senate Hart Office Building
The United States Senate
Washington DC 20510-2003
Fax: (202)224-8858
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NASA Endures Tough Senate Appropriations Hearing

FYI No. 79, June 8, 1994

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on VA/HUD/Independent Agencies, is a big NASA supporter, but she is also a realist. At a June 7 hearing
on NASA's fiscal year 1995 budget, she pulled no punches in describing her subcommittee's budget situation. Facing what she called "our toughest year on record," Mikulski reported that her
subcommittee's allocation was $316 million in outlays less than the comparable House subcommittee, and a severe $729 million below the President's request for programs under her jurisdiction.

"I told the Vice President yesterday," Mikulski said, "that without solutions from the Administration to make up this shortfall...NASA would end up no better than $13.7 billion," an appropriation she thought "would do serious, and perhaps irreparable, harm to America's space program." She warned that such a budget might lead to $200 million in cuts to the space station program, $100 million from the shuttle program, and the possible termination of either the AXAF or Cassini science missions. (The fiscal 1995 request for NASA was $14.3 billion.)

Mikulski, limited in time by other Senate commitments, was abrupt with NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin, complaining minutes into his testimony that she did not have the text of his remarks. If NASA received only $13.7 billion (a reduction of $600 million from its request), she challenged him, "What cuts would you recommend?"  Goldin responded that he had been asked by the House VA/HUD chairman, Louis Stokes (D-Ohio), to find $200 million in cuts (see FYI #69), and he was working with the Administration to do so. But with much deeper cuts, he said, "I'm concerned about the viability of a balanced space program; I think we'd lose one of the accounts." With a $13.7 billion budget, he stated, NASA could not both build the space station and perform science.

What would be the consequences of canceling AXAF or Cassini, and which would NASA recommend for termination?, Mikulski asked. NASA Chief Scientist France Cordova said NASA would have to take the question to the science community. "But I'm asking you," Mikulski snapped to the NASA officials in general. "Otherwise why have a hearing?"

Goldin answered that he didn't have a rational way of choosing between the two projects. "If we have to pick one," Mikulski warned, "we will." She stressed that while she did not want to
have to make such decisions either, she wanted a public discussion of the consequences. Phil Graham (R-Texas) echoed this, saying it was important "to let Members of Congress know that cuts have consequences." Mikulski also made the point that NASA has already absorbed deep cuts and made significant sacrifices over the past years, although "some of my colleagues act like this is the first time." "Some will say we've gone from fat to muscle," she said; "I believe we've gone from fat to amputation."

Mikulski did not have time to pursue further questions about space science or Mission to Planet Earth, but did voice several questions about the space station program. Goldin reiterated his belief that "we can do it for $17.4 billion," and informed her that NASA hoped to conclude negotiations with Russia and the new prime contractor, Boeing, by early July. Mikulski asked whether her subcommittee would have those details before marking up the VA/HUD bill, probably during the week of July 11. Her goal, she said, was to get her bill through the floor before the Senate recessed on August 15. Goldin promised to get the data to her in time. He also promised, in response to a request by Graham, to develop a "decision tree" showing what programs NASA would cut based on the level of funding the agency received.

Mikulski assured Goldin that she was "talking to the highest levels of the Administration about additional sources of revenue," and promised she would do all she could. Whether she will be able to squeeze additional money out of a tight budget to help fund NASA's programs remains to be seen. In the meantime, Stokes' House subcommittee plans to mark up its version of the VA/HUD spending bill on June 9.


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Public Information Division
American Institute of Physics
Contact: Audrey T. Leath
(301)209-3094
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You can get on the distribution list for these public policy pieces by contacting fyi@aip.org.

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AAS Encourages Electronic Submission of Journal Manuscripts

All authors are encouraged to submit their manuscripts electronically to the ApJ, ApJ Letters, and AJ, using the AASTeX macro package.  The University of Chicago Press, publisher of the ApJ and ApJ Letters,  expects to have the software in place shortly to typeset these Journals from the electronic manuscripts. The AIP, publisher of the AJ, is still in the preliminary stages of building their translation program, but electronic submissions are still necessary for testing and validating their software. This is an exciting period for astronomy as we move one step further toward a full electronic journal!

The AASTeX macro package contains substyle files that are used with the standard LaTeX `article' style. Instructions for using the package, along with examples and templates for manuscripts and tables, are included in the distribution. Instructions for retrieval can be obtained by sending an empty email message (with a short subject line)
to: aastex-instruct@aas.org

Manuscripts and tables are submitted by electronic mail as AASTeX files. Figures are submitted by electronic mail as PostScript files. Plates or photographs are still submitted by postal mail. Electronic submission instructions to the Journals can be obtained by sending empty e-mail messages to the following:

apj-instruct@aas.org (ApJ)

apjlett-instruct@aas.org (ApJ Letters)

aj-instruct@aas.org (AJ)

If you have questions about the package please send mail to

aastex-help@aas.org

The `help' mail is currently forwarded to Jeannette Barnes who will be happy to answer your questions about the AASTeX package or any general questions you may have about preparing your manuscript for electronic submission.

Information about electronic submission will be available shortly via Mosaic on the AAS home page url: http://aas.org/AAS-homepage.html.

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NRAO VLA All-Sky Survey


The NRAO VLA Sky Survey (NVSS) is mapping the sky north of -40 deg declination at 1.4 GHz. The principal data products are (1) 4 deg X 4 deg continuum maps "cubes" with three planes containing Stokes I, Q, and U images, (2) source lists, and (3) processed (u,v) data sets. The maps have 45 arcsec FWHM resolution and nearly uniform rms noise, about 0.45 mJy/beam = 0.14 K (Stokes I) and 0.29 mJy/beam (Stokes Q and U). The rms uncertainties in right ascension and declination vary from 0.3 arcsec for strong (S > 30 mJy) point sources to 5 arcsec for
the faintest (S ~ 2.5 mJy) detectable sources.

The NVSS is being made as a service to the astronomical community, and the data products are being released electronically as soon as they are produced and verified. The first results are now available via anonymous FTP (ftp gibbon.cv.nrao.edu, login: anonymous, password: your name) or World Wide Web (URL address http://info.aoc.nrao.edu). Contact jcondon@nrao.edu if you have any questions about the NVSS.

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The XXIInd IAU General Assembly in The Hague, the Netherlands,
15 - 27 August 1994

We have reason to believe that a significant number of our colleagues do not yet realize that the scientific programme of the upcoming IAU General Assembly is very exciting. In format and emphasis this Assembly differs considerably from previous ones.

The programme includes six full-blown IAU Symposia (nrs 164 through 169) lasting 4 days each, the proceedings of which are to be published in the regular symposium series. The "classical" General Assembly part, which overlaps partly with the symposia, contains fewer meetings of individual commissions and many more Joint Discussions, scientific
meetings of an average duration of one day, sponsored by a number of commissions.

All scientific and practical information on the XXIInd General Assembly is available on a World Wide Web server. If you have a WWW-client program (e.g. NCSA Mosaic) running on one of your computers, specify from X-mosaic the URL:

http://iauwww.fys.ruu.nl:8888/iau.html

Postscript versions of the registration form (regform.ps) and the tour-reservation form (tourform.ps) are available by anonymous ftp from:

ftp.fys.ruu.nl.

Our registration office requires a signed copy of the registration form by regular mail or by fax (+31 20 625 9574).

Although attendance of non-IAU members at the General Assembly is traditionally by invitation, the IAU as well as the Local Organizing Committee wish to encourage all serious astronomers to partake in the scientific sessions. Therefore, the Local Organizing Committee will make sure that all serious astronomers who register are proposed to  become "invited participants" if they are not members of the IAU.

Ernst Raimond
chairperson LOC IAU XXIInd General Assembly
e-mail: exr@nfra.nl fax: +31 5219 7332

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