Feature

The Next Decade of Astronomy Revealed
08.13.10
 
Goddard staff participate in Astro2010 web cast
Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Rebecca Roth

Goddard staff watched the future of astronomy and astrophysics mapped out Friday Aug. 13 during the nationwide web-cast of the 2010 decadal survey organized by the National Research Council.

About 100 Goddard scientists, engineers and other employees watched, some participating online through Twitter on Blackberries and laptops. They joined thousands in more than 80 telecast centers around the country, including six NASA facilities and dozens of universities.

The survey, “New Worlds New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics,” is the sixth and latest in a series of surveys produced every 10 years by the National Research Council (NRC) of The National Academy of Sciences. The survey is organized by the NRC's Board on Physics and Astronomy in cooperation with the Space Studies Board.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration leadership takes this survey very seriously and sets NASA’s funding and priorities to match.

Known as Astro 2010, the study listed the WFIRST infrared telescope as its top priority for the next 10 years. The survey placed second priority on the need to correct the “underfunding” of the Explorer program – comprised of the WMAP, Swift, GALEX and WISE probes – from $40 million to $100 million per year.

The LISA triad of satellites to measure gravitational forces was listed as third priority among the major programs discussed.

Related Links:

Download the survey and presentation slides:
http://sites.nationalacademies.org/BPA/BPA_049810
 
 
Karl Hille
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center