AAS Electronic Notification Service - Announcement # 13
- Congressional Budget Update - Good News Follows Hard Work
- 1996 HEAD Meeting - First Announcement, Abstracts Due Friday January 26, 1996
- EUVE GO Proposals Due October 6, 1995
- VSOP Space VLBI Proposals Due on November 17
- Ford Foundation Fellowships for Minorities
1. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET UPDATE
It didn't take the Senate long to get back to work after the August recess. The Senate VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee set right to work marking up the Appropriations Bill. Since the House had made significant cuts to the NASA Space Science Budget, cutting the SOFIA new start funding by $20 million and the Earth Observing System by $338 million (out of the $1.341 billion request). Since the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee was allocated significantly more by the chairman of the full Committee than it's House counterpart, there was hope that the Senate would be more generous. In fact, that's exactly what happened. The Senate markup funds the SOFIA request at the full $47 million request, includes $10 million for the advanced technology work on SIRTF (maintaining the possibility for SIRTF to be launched while AXAF and HST are still in operation) and only cuts about $60 million from the EOS program. The Senate bill also includes funding for continuing the GPB mission, and all the other missions which are under way.
The turnaround in Congressional support for the NASA infrared missions over the last two months is a tribute to the efforts of everyone who spent the time and effort to contact Congress. Much of the initial resistance to supporting the Space Science Program stemmed from a lack of knowledge and information about the programs. The members of the astronomical community who talked to their senators during the break has certainly paid off. Apparently, the voice of the science community in support of the basic research program is beginning to be heard.
The same bill covers NSF and EPA. The House treated NSF relatively well, only cutting $200 million from the requested $2.454 billion for research activities (i.e. the category containing the grants programs). The Senate markup only cut $160 million from NSF. The other categories, including science education, will apparently be funded at the requested level, since both the House and Senate funded the rest of NSF at the full requested level.
One of the potential problems with the House bill was a 25% cut to the EPA research programs which immediately drew the promise of a Presidential veto. Should such a veto occur, it is entirely possible that NASA and NSF could become the victims of political fights unrelated to those two agencies. The Senate markup cuts EPA much less than the House did and eliminated all but one of the restrictions on regulatory action which the White House found particularly unpalatable. The veto
threat could be greatly diminished if the Senate version of the bill is adopted by the House.
All is not finished yet, but time is short. The Senate has to vote on the bill and the differences with the House have to be ironed out in Conference Committee. The ideal situation would be for the House to recede to the Senate numbers for NASA Space Science and for NSF. In particular, the $10 million for SIRTF advanced technology is critically important for keeping the SIRTF development on schedule. Full funding for SOFIA is also important.
Things to Do
For those of you who want to contact Congress, there are three things to do. First of all, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee has been very supportive. They should be thanked. Second, the full Senate still has to vote on the Subcommittee recommendation. While the Subcommittee recommendations usually pass, it would be a good time make your voice heard during the next week. Third, urge your Congressman to tell the House-Senate Conference Committee to recede to the Senate numbers for NASA Space Science and for NSF. You might also contact your Senators and have them urge the Senate members of the Conference Committee to stand firm on the science budgets.
What the AAS is Doing
AAS President Frank Shu will be visiting Washington next week and will carry the astronomical community's message to the House and Senate Appropriations and Science Committees.
Where to get Information
The AAS WWW homepage has links under the "Public Policy " heading to information about where to find the latest information and how to contact Congress. The AAS homepage has summaries of the Space Science Working Group reports, and by special permission from the AIP, we have put up a Physics Today story by Irwin Goodwin about the
pending reorganization of NASA.
In addition, the American Association for the Advancement of Science has budget tables and a summary of the House appropriation bills. Their homepage is at: http://www.aaas.org/
The American Institute of Physics which publishes the electronic FYI reports archives them. Look under the "Electronic Newsletters" link from their homepage: http://www.aip.org/
2. 1996 HEAD MEETING - FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT
1996 Meeting of the AAS High Energy Astrophysics Division
*Incorporating XTE, ASCA, CGRO and ROSAT Workshops*
April 30 - May 3, 1996
Mission Bay, San Diego, California
ABSTRACTS DUE FRIDAY JAN 26, 1996
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eureka Scientific Inc.
2452 Delmer St. Suite 100
Oakland California 94602-3017
Phone (510) 530-1688
Fax (510) 530-2416
3. EUVE GO PROPOSALS DUE OCTOBER 6, 1995
The EUVE Project has released the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) for the 4th episode EUVE Guest Observer (GO) Program. Proposals are being solicited for observations during an 11-month period starting in February 1996. Proposals are being accepted for using the EUVE spectrometer, the deep-survey instrument, and the scanning telescopes. The deadline for receipt of proposals is October 6, 1995.
There are several modifications from the 3rd episode including: (1) The scheduling of time critical observations will be more constrained. The response time for a Target of Opportunity will also be affected. (2) The data proprietary period has been decreased to 6 months. (3) Large Research Programs are being encouraged and will be scheduled through the end-of-mission (Sept 1997). (4) GO grant money is available at approximately half the amount of previous episodes. (5) No budget page
or institutional signature are required to be submitted at this stage.
The NRA and associated appendices may be obtained via anonymous file transfer protocol (ftp) from ftp.cea.berkeley.edu (under the directory /pub/nra95), or hard copies may be requested from the Project Science Office at email@example.com. Additional information about this NRA or EUVE may be obtained from Dr. Ron Oliversen, EUVE Associate Project Scientist (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dr. Damian Christian, EUVE GO Support Scientist (email@example.com), or on the World Wide Web at http://www.cea.berkeley.edu/.
4. VSOP SPACE VLBI PROPOSALS DUE ON NOVEMBER 17
The Astrophysics Division of NASA is providing support for the VSOP Space Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) mission through the efforts of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). VSOP will be launched by the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) in
September 1996. Science possible with this instrument includes extremely high resolution (as fine as 60 microarcsecond) images of celestial objects (e.g., active galactic nuclei, H2O masers, and other high brightness temperature radio sources). An open Announcement of Opportunity was released by ISAS in June of this year, with
proposals due at ISAS on November 17.
A number of regional experts have been appointed around the world to provide personal assistance to proposers. The U.S. regional expert can be reached at the following e-mail address:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions relating to the AO, proposal submission, technical aspects of the mission, or user software that are not answered in the AO or the accompanying guide for proposers can be submitted. Common questions are also compiled in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file.
For further information on how to access the AO, the FAQ file, and other support available to proposers, please monitor the JPL Space VLBI Project Home Page on the World Wide Web (http://sgra.jpl.nasa.gov), send e-mail to email@example.com, or subscribe to our electronic newsletter. (To subscribe to this newsletter if you have not already done so, simply send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the single word SUBSCRIBE on the first line of the MESSAGE ITSELF [*not* the Subject line].)
5. NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL TO AWARD FORD FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIPS FOR MINORITIES
Fellowships are open to US citizens. The deadline for Predoctoral and Dissertation Fellowships is November 3, 1995. The deadline for Postdoctoral Fellowships is January 5, 1996. Information is available on the World Wide Web at: http://www.nas.edu/fo/index.html