Solar System Exploration Policy Blog

Mark V. Sykes


October 11, 2019

M.V. Sykes, A. Pathare, G. Kramer, R. Watkins, N. Samarasinha, B. Mueller (PSI)

In 2014, NASA announced the reorganization of the planetary research and data analysis programs to align them by subject area to Planetary Science Division strategic goals. A number of disparate programs were merged into the Solar System Workings program, creating a behemoth to which well over 300 proposals have been submitted each year. This has proved unwieldy for managers, reviewers, and proposers alike. A survey shows it is supported by less than 10% of respondents.

In this grass roots effort, we propose SSW be broken up into five core programs and a separate pilot program for geologic mapping. We propose a restructuring of mission data analysis programs with some guidelines for future programs. We would maintain most of the other existing programs.

An initial draft of this proposal was posted online and an online community survey was conducted from October 1-7, advertised through the Planetary Exploration Newsletter, AAS DPS Newsletter, and other community forums. This proposal is informed by the 249 responses to the survey including a large number of comments.

The submitted reorganization proposal is HERE

The survey is HERE
The raw survey data is HERE


Background Courtesy NASA/JPL/Caltech.