Tag Archives: NASA

50th Anniversary of the Historic Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon

“A grand attempt to reach beyond the world of mundane life and transcend the ordinary limits of human existence through accomplishment of the miraculous – a story of engineers who tried to reach the heavens.”
The Spaceflight Revolution, William Bainbridge

Fifty years ago, six hundred million people watched in awe as Commander Neil Armstrong took mankind’s first steps on lunar soil. For eight days, Apollo 11 carried Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin through space, as they made celestial observations that served as the foundation of previously inconceivable human exploration beyond planet Earth. For 21 ½ hours, Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Moon’s surface, gathering 47.5 pounds of Moon rocks to bring home, communicating back to Earth through thousands of miles of cosmic dust, and chronicling their experiences to share with the world. This milestone in human history marked an age of significant technological achievement, space exploration, and discovery, and inspired the world with possibilities of the future. This week, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon.

Since Armstrong’s famous words, “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” travelled thousands of miles from the lunar surface to Earth, there have been many new discoveries and conclusions regarding space, technology, and humanity. Astronaut-driven lunar rovers and other specialized equipment such as the Modularized Equipment Transporter (MET) enable astronauts to conduct longer, more in-depth geological surveys of different locations on the moon’s surface. Project Apollo, spanning from 1961–1975, not only accelerated scientific discovery, but also further developed society’s understanding of our own place within the cosmos. 50 years later, we ask ourselves: where do we go from here?

On December 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1). This new directive instructed the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to lead a program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities. Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations.

In response to and in support of the vision expressed in SPD-1, the National Academies released a report that reviewed decadal and other community-guided lunar science priorities as context for NASA’s current lunar plans and evaluated the actions being taken by NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) to support lunar science. At the request of NASA PSD, the National Academies released a second report that explores plans for commercial partnerships, lunar infrastructure development, and related aspects of NASA’s lunar science and exploration initiative. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of one of the most important days in human history, and to learn more about innovations in space technology, read online or download our reports.

 

Report Series: Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science: Review of the Planetary Science Aspects of NASA SMD’s Lunar Science and Exploration Initiative

On December 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1). The new directive replaced original text in the National Space Policy of the United States of America and instructed the Administrator of the National …

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Report Series: Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science: Review of the Commercial Aspects of NASA SMD’s Lunar Science and Exploration Initiative

On December 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1). The new directive replaced original text in the National Space Policy of the United States of America and instructed the Administrator of the National …

[more]

Capturing the Unobservable: The Future of Space Exploration

Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, via National Science Foundation

After years of analyzing data, a planet-sized network of telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope used radio waves to assemble the first image of a black hole. This remarkable accomplishment sets a new precedent for the future of space exploration. Our reports support these endeavors by providing recommended research priorities and strategies.

A Midterm Assessment of Implementation of the Decadal Survey on Life and Physical Sciences Research at NASA

The 2011 National Research Council decadal survey on biological and physical sciences in space, Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era, was written during a critical period in the …

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Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era

More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced …

[more]

NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities: Restoring NASA’s Technological Edge and Paving the Way for a New Era in Space

NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) has begun to rebuild the advanced space technology program in the agency with plans laid out in 14 draft technology roadmaps. It has been years since NASA has had a vigorous, broad-based program in …

[more]

NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities Revisited

Historically, the United States has been a world leader in aerospace endeavors in both the government and commercial sectors. A key factor in aerospace leadership is continuous development of advanced technology, which is critical to U.S. …

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Space Studies Board Annual Report 2017

The original charter of the Space Science Board was established in June 1958, three months before the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) opened its doors. The Space Science Board and its successor, the Space Studies Board (SSB), …

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The Space Science Decadal Surveys: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

The National Research Council has conducted 11 decadal surveys in the Earth and space sciences since 1964 and released the latest four surveys in the past 8 years. The decadal surveys are notable in their ability to sample thoroughly the …

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Science Debate 2012: Space

The leading U.S. science and engineering organizations developed a list of 14 science policy questions facing the U.S. in 2012. You can read these questions–and the Presidential candidates’ answers–at ScienceDebate.org.

For each of the Science Debate 2012 questions, we’re going to provide you a selection of the authoritative and unbiased resources of the National Academies to help inform your response to the candidates’ answers. Today, we’re looking at this ScienceDebate question on Space:

The United States is currently in a major discussion over our national goals in space. What should America’s space exploration and utilization goals be in the 21st century and what steps should the government take to help achieve them?

How would you respond? Download these reports for free at NAP.edu or purchase a print copy to read.

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

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New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics324 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically during the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to… [more]
Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022

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Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022400 pages | Paperback | Price: $49.50In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon’s poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life could have… [more]
Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration

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Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era442 pages | Paperback | Price: $77.17More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human… [more]
Solar and Space Physics

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Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society454 pages | Paperback | Price: $60.30From the interior of the Sun, to the upper atmosphere and near-space environment of Earth, and outward to a region far beyond Pluto where the Sun’s influence wanes, advances during the past decade in space physics and solar physics–the disciplines NASA… [more]
Earth Science and Applications from Space

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Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond456 pages | CD-ROM | $38.70

Natural and human-induced changes in Earth’s interior, land surface, biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans affect all aspects of life. Understanding these changes requires a range of observations acquired from land-, sea-, air-, and space-based platforms. To… [more]

America’s Future in Space: 10 Reports from the National Research Council

Last week, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon spacecraft to orbit, making SpaceX the first commercial company in history to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.

The National Research Council’s America’s Future in Space recommends directions for U.S. civil space activities.  According to this book, the U.S. civil space program is an essential national resource with the potential to address pressing national needs in a substantial way.

Other NRC titles make recommendations and lay out steps to advance discoveries about the solar system, astronomy and astrophysics, and identify research needed for advancements in human spaceflight.  All are free to download.

America's Future in Space

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America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs106 pages | Paperback | Price: $25.87As civil space policies and programs have evolved, the geopolitical environment has changed dramatically. Although the U.S. space program was originally driven in large part by competition with the Soviet Union, the nation now finds itself in a post-Cold War… [more]

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration

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Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era442 pages | Paperback | Price: $77.17More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human… [more]

Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022

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Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022400 pages | Paperback | Price: $49.50In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon’s poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life could have… [more]

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

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New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics324 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically during the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to… [more]

Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey

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Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey36 pages | Paperback | Price: $13.50The 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (NWNH), outlines a scientifically exciting and programmatically integrated plan for both ground- and space-based astronomy and… [more]

Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Spacecraft Missions to Icy Solar System Bodies

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Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Spacecraft Missions to Icy Solar System Bodies100 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.00NASA’s exploration of planets and satellites during the past 50 years has led to the discovery of traces of water ice throughout the solar system and prospects for large liquid water reservoirs beneath the frozen ICE shells of multiple satellites of the giant… [more]

Earth Science and Applications from Space

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Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Midterm Assessment of NASA’s Implementation of the Decadal Survey122 pages | Paperback | Price: $34.20Understanding the effects of natural and human-induced changes on the global environment and their implications requires a foundation of integrated observations of land, sea, air and space, on which to build credible information products, forecast models, and… [more]

Sharing the Adventure with the Public: The Value and Excitement of 'Grand Questions' of Space Science and Exploration

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Sharing the Adventure with the Public: The Value and Excitement of ‘Grand Questions’ of Space Science and Exploration: Summary of a Workshop92 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10On November 8-10, 2010, the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board (SSB) held a public workshop on how NASA and its associated science and exploration communities communicate with the public about major NASA activities and programs. The… [more]

Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics548 pages | Paperback | Price: $49.50Every 10 years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, titled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall… [more]

Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration

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Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report46 pages | Paperback | Price: $13.95In response to requests from Congress, NASA asked the National Research Council to undertake a decadal survey of life and physical sciences in microgravity. Developed in consultation with members of the life and physical sciences communities, the guiding… [more]

Science Research to Drive Space Exploration

It has been a banner week for space enthusiasts! Kepler-22b is the first planet discovered beyond our system to possibly be in a habitable zone, capable of supporting life. Scientists also announced the discovery of the biggest black holes yet. New pictures of the asteroid Vesta were released, adding greatly to our knowledge of asteroids. As amazing as these events are, we have to wonder – what will we find next?

The National Research Council has produced a number of reports that discuss the current status of space science and make recommendations for future research directions. All of these resources are free to download.

The PDF booklet 2020 Vision: An Overview of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics is also available. Click here to download the PDF (1.7 MB).

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration
Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era

More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made since in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human…
Details

Preparing for the High Frontier
Preparing for the High Frontier: The Role and Training of NASA Astronauts in the Post-Space Shuttle Era

As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) retires the Space Shuttle and shifts involvement in International Space Station (ISS) operations, changes in the role and requirements of NASA’s Astronaut Corps will take place. At the request of…
Details

Sharing the Adventure with the Public--The Value of Excitement
Sharing the Adventure with the Public–The Value of Excitement: Summary of a Workshop

On November 8-10, 2010, the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board (SSB) held a public workshop on how NASA and its associated science and exploration communities communicate with the public about major NASA activities and programs. The…
Details

Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022
Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022

In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon’s poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life could have…
Details

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically during the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to…
Details

Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Every 10 years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, titled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall…
Details

Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey
Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey

The 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (NWNH), outlines a scientifically exciting and programmatically integrated plan for both ground- and space-based astronomy and astrophysics in…
Details

Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration
Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report

In response to requests from Congress, NASA asked the National Research Council to undertake a decadal survey of life and physical sciences in microgravity. Developed in consultation with members of the life and physical sciences communities, the guiding…
Details

Defending Planet Earth
Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies

The United States spends approximately $4 million each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. The majority of this funding supports the operation of several observatories that scan the sky…
Details

An Enabling Foundation for NASA's Space and Earth Science Missions
An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions

NASA’s space and Earth science program is composed of two principal components: spaceflight projects and mission-enabling activities. Most of the budget of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is applied to spaceflight missions, but NASA identifies nearly…
Details

Revitalizing NASA's Suborbital Program
Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce

Suborbital flight activities, including the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons, and suborbital reusable launch vehicles, offer valuable opportunities to advance science, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and…
Details

America's Future in Space
America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs

As civil space policies and programs have evolved, the geopolitical environment has changed dramatically. Although the U.S. space program was originally driven in large part by competition with the Soviet Union, the nation now finds itself in a post-Cold War…
Details

Radioisotope Power Systems
Radioisotope Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space Exploration

Spacecraft require electrical energy. This energy must be available in the outer reaches of the solar system where sunlight is very faint. It must be available through lunar nights that last for 14 days, through long periods of dark and cold at the higher…
Details

The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems
The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems

The search for life in the solar system and beyond has to date been governed by a model based on what we know about life on Earth (terran life). Most of NASA’s mission planning is focused on locations where liquid water is possible and emphasizes searches for…
Details

Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System
Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System

The sources, distributions, and transformation of organic compounds in the solar system are active study areas as a means to provide information about the evolution of the solar system and the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe. There are many…
Details

Beyond the Space Shuttle: Future Directions for Space Exploration and Research

Atlantis blasted off for its final mission last week, marking the end of the space shuttle program. As we look back on what we have learned from the space shuttle and other space research programs, it is amazing to consider how far we can advance knowledge of our own solar system and planets beyond in just a few decades. Looking ahead, where do we go from here?

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era lays out steps that NASA can take to reinvigorate its partnership with the life and physical sciences research community and develops a forward-looking portfolio of research that will provide the basis for recapturing the excitement and value of human spaceflight. The recommendations of this report can guide the U.S. space program to deliver on new exploration initiatives that serve the nation, excite the public, and place the United States again at the forefront of space exploration for the global good.

Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 reviews the status of planetary science in the United States and develops a comprehensive strategy that will continue these advances in the coming decade. Drawing on extensive interactions with the broad planetary science community, this book presents a decadal program of science and exploration with the potential to yield revolutionary new discoveries. The program will achieve long-standing scientific goals with a suite of new missions across the solar system and will provide fundamental new scientific knowledge.

In astronomy and astrophysics, recent discoveries, powerful new ways to observe the universe, and bold new ideas to understand it have created scientific opportunities without precedent. New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics proposes a broad-based, integrated plan for space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics for the decade 2012-2021. It also lays the foundations for advances in the decade 2022-2031. Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics is a collection of reports, each of which addresses a key sub-area of the field, prepared by specialists in that subarea, and each of which plays an important role in setting overall priorities for the field.

These books and others from the Space Studies Board and the Board on Physics and Astronomy are fascinating and useful resources for the scientific community and the explorer in all of us.

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration
Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era

More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made since in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human…
Details

Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022
Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022

In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon’s poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life could have…
Details

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically over the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to…
Details

Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Every ten years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, titled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall…
Details

Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey
Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey

The 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (NWNH), outlines a scientifically exciting and programmatically integrated plan for both ground- and space-based astronomy and astrophysics in…
Details

Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions

Through an examination of case studies, agency briefings, and existing reports, and drawing on personal knowledge and direct experience, the Committee on Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Cooperation on Space and Earth Science Missions found that…
Details

Defending Planet Earth
Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies

The United States spends approximately $4 million each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. The majority of this funding supports the operation of several observatories that scan the sky…
Details

Capabilities for the Future
Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research

Over the past 5 years or more, there has been a steady and significant decrease in NASA’s laboratory capabilities, including equipment, maintenance, and facility upgrades. This adversely affects the support of NASA’s scientists, who rely on these…
Details

New Planets, New Possibilities in Space Research

On Monday a team of NASA astronomers announced the discovery of the first rocky planet orbiting a star outside our solar system. The discovery of the planet, named Kepler-10b, was the result of data collected by the Kepler spacecraft, launched by NASA in March 2009.

Remember when grade school astronomy consisted mainly of knowing the names of the nine planets in order from the sun? We have come a long way from the astronomy taught to us even 10 years ago. In recent decades, significant progress in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics has brought about a revolution in understanding of the origins and nature of our universe. Hundreds of planets of startling diversity have been discovered orbiting distant suns. Black holes, once viewed as exotic theoretical possibilities, are now known to be present at the center of most galaxies, including our own. Precision measurements of the primordial radiation left by the big bang have enabled astronomers to determine the age, size, and shape of the universe. Recent discoveries, powerful new ways to observe the universe, and bold new ideas to understand it have created unprecedented scientific opportunities.

So how can we make the most of these opportunities to better understand our universe? New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, a new book from the National Research Council, outlines a plan for ground- and space- based astronomy and astrophysics for the coming decade. This book, based on comprehensive input from the astronomy and astrophysics community, presents exciting yet realistic recommendations.

A companion volume, Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics features a collection of reports on various sub-areas of astronomy and astrophysics. Each of these reports played an important role in setting overall priorities.

These titles and others can guide future research and decision making.

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically over the course of the last few decades.  The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to…
Details

Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Every ten years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, entitled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall…
Details

Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey

The 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (NWNH), outlines a scientifically exciting and programmatically integrated plan for both ground- and space-based astronomy and astrophysics in…
Details

Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report

In response to requests from Congress, NASA asked the National Research Council to undertake a decadal survey of life and physical sciences in microgravity. Developed in consultation with members of the life and physical sciences communities, the guiding…
Details

Defending Planet Earth Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies

The United States spends approximately $4 million each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. The majority of this funding supports the operation of several observatories that scan the sky…
Details

An Enabling Foundation for NASA's Space and Earth Science Missions An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions

NASA’s space and Earth science program is composed of two principal components: spaceflight projects and mission-enabling activities. Most of the budget of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is applied to spaceflight missions, but NASA identifies nearly…
Details

Revitalizing NASA's Suborbital Program Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce

Suborbital flight activities, including the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons, and suborbital reusable launch vehicles, offer valuable opportunities to advance science, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and…
Details

America's Future in Space America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs

As civil space policies and programs have evolved, the geopolitical environment has changed dramatically. Although the U.S. space program was originally driven in large part by competition with the Soviet Union, the nation now finds itself in a post-Cold War…
Details

Radioisotope Power Systems Radioisotope Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space Exploration

Spacecraft require electrical energy. This energy must be available in the outer reaches of the solar system where sunlight is very faint. It must be available through lunar nights that last for 14 days, through long periods of dark and cold at the higher…
Details

Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World: Summary of a Workshop

Numerous countries and regions now have very active space programs, and the number is increasing. These maturing capabilities around the world create a plethora of potential partners for cooperative space endeavors, while at the same time heightening…
Details

Seven New Books: Sea Turtles, Space Exploration, and more

This past week, there were seven new publications on the NAP site, six of which have free PDFs. There were prepublications covering space exploration, climate, and sea turtles.

All New Publications This Week

Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millenia (prepublication)

Assessment of Sea-Turtle Status and Trends: Integrating Demography and Abundance (prepublication)

Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report (prepublication)

Controlling Cost Growth of NASA Earth and Space Science Missions (prepublication)

A Scientific Assessment of Alternatives for Reducing Water Management Effects on Threatened and Endangered Fishes in California’s Bay Delta (final)

A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension (final)

Final Report of The National Academies’ Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee and 2010 Amendments to the National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (final)

New Books Covering Health And Medicine, NASA, and Industry And Labor

There were four books new to the NAP site this week, including Evaluation of Biomarkers and Surrogate Endpoints in Chronic Disease, a publication by the Institute of Medicine.

Featured Publication

Evaluation of Biomarkers and Surrogate Endpoints in Chronic Disease (prepublication)

Many people naturally assume that the claims made for foods and nutritional supplements have the same degree of scientific grounding as those for medication, but that is not always the case. The IOM recommends that the FDA adopt a consistent scientific framework for biomarker evaluation in order to achieve a rigorous and transparent process.

All New Publications This Week

Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research (final)

A Database for a Changing Economy: Review of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) (final)

Evaluation of the Health and Safety Risks of the New USAMRIID High Containment Facilities at Fort Detrick, Maryland (final)

Free from NAP: Thirteen PDFs To Download

Once a month we collect all the free resources available at your disposal and send an e-mail to our subscriber list (if you’re not already subscribed, subscribe here). Today’s e-mail had far too many free PDFs to include, but to make sure everyone can conveniently find all the new free PDFs we have to offer, here is the complete list:

Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution Understanding Climate’s Influence on Human Evolution The hominin fossil record documents a history of critical evolutionary events that have ultimately shaped and defined what it means to be human, including the origins of bipedalism; the emergence of our genus Homo; the first use of stone tools; increases in… Details
Envisioning the 2020 CensusEnvisioning the 2020 Census Planning for the 2020 census is already beginning. This book from the National Research Council examines several aspects of census planning, including questionnaire design, address updating, non-response follow-up, coverage follow-up, de-duplication of… Details
An Enabling Foundation for NASA's Space and Earth Science Missions An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions NASA’s space and Earth science program is composed of two principal components: spaceflight projects and mission-enabling activities. Most of the budget of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is applied to spaceflight missions, but NASA identifies nearly… Details
Infectious Disease Movement in a Borderless World Infectious Disease Movement in a Borderless World: Workshop Summary Modern transportation allows people, animals, and plants–and the pathogens they carry–to travel more easily than ever before. The ease and speed of travel, tourism, and international trade connect once-remote areas with one another, eliminating many of the… Details
Grand Challenges of Our Aging Society Grand Challenges of Our Aging Society: Workshop Summary
Aging populations are generating both challenges and opportunities for societies around the globe. Increases in longevity and improvements in health raise many questions. What steps can be taken to optimize physical and cognitive health and productivity… Details
Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces
Owing to the expansion of network-centric operating concepts across the Department of Defense (DOD) and the growing threat to information and cybersecurity from lone actors, groups of like-minded actors, nation-states, and malicious insiders, information… Details
Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis: Workshop Summary
In 2007 and 2008, the world witnessed a dramatic increase in food prices. The global financial crisis that began in 2008 compounded the burden of high food prices, exacerbating the problems of hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. The tandem food… Details
Revitalizing NASA's Suborbital Program Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce Suborbital flight activities, including the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons, and suborbital reusable launch vehicles, offer valuable opportunities to advance science, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and… Details
Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries There is growing concern about the possible use of toxic industrial chemicals or other hazardous chemicals by those seeking to perpetrate acts of terrorism. The U.S. Chemical Security Engagement Program (CSP), funded by the U.S. Department of State and run by..Details
NOAA's Education Program NOAA’s Education Program: Review and Critique There is a national need to educate the public about the ocean, coastal resources, atmosphere and climate. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),  the agency responsible for understanding and predicting changes in the Earth’s… Details
Seventeenth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels Seventeenth Interim Report of the Committee on Acute Exposure Guideline Levels Extremely hazardous substances (EHSs) can be released accidentally as a result of chemical spills, industrial explosions, and other accidents, or intentionally through terrorist activities. Workers and residents in communities surrounding industrial… Details
Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience: A Workshop Report The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) on the United States prompted a rethinking of how the United States prepares for disasters. Federal policy documents written since 9/11 have stressed that the private and public sectors share equal..Details
Spectrum Management for Science in the 21st Century Spectrum Management for Science in the 21st Century Radio observations of the cosmos are gathered by geoscientists using complex earth-orbiting satellites and ground-based equipment, and by radio astronomers using large ground-based radio telescopes. Signals from natural radio emissions are extremely weak, and… Details